tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Thu May 27 07:48:48 1999

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Word order revisited

With your leave, I'll repeat a post I made to the list a few days ago and follow it up with a comment from ter'eS that I've just dug out of the archives:

jatlh qa'ral:  

All the talk about mojaq /-ghach/ and mu' /quv/ has got me wondering about word order.  
qen jabbI'IDghom Daq "<-'e'> mojaq" vIlegh.  qonlaw' voragh.  This would be in keeping with the Specific>Generic order of phrases like /neghvar may'Duj/ and /ghorqon Qang/, but canonic counterexamples are probably not hard to come by (ngeng lurSor?).

jatlh ter'eS:

I've long thought that the essence of the N-N construction is that N1 restricts the set of items implied by N2.  /yaS taj/ = of the universe of knives, the one belonging to the officer.  So, titles seem to me to fit perfectly: /tlha'a HoD/ = of the universe of captains, the one who is Klaa. They're not really appositives, which start with the more general term, followed by the specific instances of that term.


qatlho'!  A very nice statement of what I was groping for, revealing a single principle at work behind the word order of N-N constructions, titles, and most place names (e.g., nomat DIS).  I'm still unclear, though, as to how we distinguish *mojaq /-'e'/* as an appositive and thereby know to reverse the word order.  It would seem to fit rather nicely into the larger category:  among the class of suffixes, the one we identify as /'e'/.  In this case, logic would dictate */-'e'/ mojaq* and */quv/ mu'*.  Is *mu' /quv/* an imitation of English word order or is there a basis in canon?


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