tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Wed May 26 18:37:14 1999

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RE: {-meH}: purpose clauses

muja' Holtej:
>> ...
>>   [V-meH N] V S
>> where [V-meH N] is the object of the larger sentence, and N is definitely
>> not the subject of the V-meH phrase.  (In examples of this sort, have we
>> ever seen prefixes used on the purpose clause?)
> ...
>We do have an example of a prefix on a purpose clause, TKW p. 73
>{bIQapqu'meH tar DaSop 'e' DatIvnIS}.  The purpose clause {bIQapqu'meH} just
>seems to be hanging out there in front of the sentence, not modifying
>another noun or verb, though, unless you want to claim that {tar} is the
>noun that it's modifying and {bIQapqu'meH tar} is the object of {Sop}
>(doesn't feel that way to me, though).

Ugh, this one puts the purpose clause rather far removed from the apparent
verb being described.  The purpose of having to enjoy the act of eating
poison is to really succeed.  The commentary on this proverb makes that
pretty clear, at least to me.

By the way, Okrand explains purpose clauses as *describing* a noun or verb,
as opposed to *modifying* them as relative clauses do to their head noun.
It's a minor point of terminology, but I think it's relevant to the original
confusion over whether the noun in {jatlhmeH mIwmey} is part of the clause.

But my question was whether we've seen prefixes used when a purpose clause
is describing a noun this way.  {ghojmeH taj} and {ja'chuqmeH rojHom}, for
example, doesn't appear to use the verbs as clauses with a real subject or
object.  I can't think of any [V-meH N] examples with a verbal prefix, but
I haven't done an exhaustive search for them.

>> I'm pretty sure that a relative clause *must* have a head noun, but it might
>> not have to be explicit.  TKD is pretty clear about how a relative clause is
>> used specifically to modify a head noun.  If there were no noun to modify, I
>> don't know how a V-bogh would fit in a sentence.  How would one use the word
>> {Qonglu'bogh}, for example?
>We have the mysterious sound file on KCD, {Dajatlhbogh vIyajbe'.
>yIjatlhqa'.}  I'm not holding this up as a golden example of a headless
>relative.  Without more evidence, we have no reason to think we can do this
>kind of thing (and TKD's description pretty clearly suggests we can't).  But
>if we could, there's an example of what it might look like.

But that "example" definitely does have both a subject and an object on the
verb {jatlh}.  It just doesn't state them explicitly.  The {Dajatlhbogh}
fits in the sentence where a noun would.  The prefix on {vIyajbe'} says
that noun isn't "you", so it has to be the elided object: the thing which
you speak.  There *is* a head noun, but it isn't actually spelled out.

>> >But I don't think it's necessarily true that, at least in the
>> >case of {jatlhmeH mIwmey qel wa' nav}, the noun {mIwmey} MUST be the
>> >object of the main verb, rather than having it be the subject of the
>> >purpose clause.
>> Please tell me how you can interpret this particular phrase if you take
>> {mIwmey} as the subject of the purpose clause.
>jatlhmeH mIwmey qel wa' nav
>Okay, I can't.  I wasn't interested so much in making {mIwmey} the subject
>of {jatlhmeH} as I was making it NOT the object of {qel}.  Since a {-meH}
>clause is a verb, I assume it can have its own subject and/or object,
>independent of the noun/verb it's modifying and independent of the main
>For example, this could easily be {bIjatlhmeH mIwmey}, and {mIwmey} is more
>clearly not the subject of {jatlhmeH}.
>> I assume you would then
>> need to say that the entire purpose clause is modifying the verb {qel},
>> since there is no noun left to apply it to, and you would also have lost
>> anything to use as the object of the verb.
>Not at all.  The entire purpose clause is itself acting as the object of the
>verb {qel}.  The verb with {-meH} is modifying the noun {mIwmey}, it doesn't
>need to modify another verb as well.  The purpose clause acts as a noun in
>the sentence.  Your interpretation was based upon my faulty claim that
>{mIwmey} was the subject of the purpose clause, which was just me being
>sloppy.  DopDaq qul yIchenmoH QobDI' ghu'.
>In the initial thread, Voragh commented:
>> I think that peHruS is confused by the phrase {jatlhmeH mIwmey} "speaking
>> procedures". The plural noun {mIwmey} is not the subject of the dependent
>> verb {jatlh} but the plural object of the main verb {qel}.
>This is what I was objecting to.  The entire purpose clause is the object of
>{qel}, not the N {mIwmey}.
>> -- ghunchu'wI'
>-- Holtej 'utlh
>tlhIngan-Hol Mailing List FAQ:

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