tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Sat Apr 13 10:31:04 2002

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Re: to' nech, 029: {'ay' tu'lu''a'? joj tIqel.}

At 14:58 2002-04-12 -0400, David Trimboli wrote:
>From: "Steven Boozer" <>
> > >K: 'ay' tu'lu''a'?  joj tIqel.
> > >Gloss: Are there sections?  Consider the interstices.
> > >Eno/Schmidt: Are there sections? Consider transitions
> >
> > I've noticed you like to omit optional plural suffixes.  I do too, when
> > it's obvious from context (i.e. numbers or verb prefixes).

BTW, Voragh is quite right:  I think that /always/ marking plurality is 
just a daffy hangover from English.  Relying on verb prefixes is much more, 
say, Navajo.

>The other time it's good to omit plural suffixes is when it doesn't really
>matter whether the noun is singular or plural.

Very true.
And sometimes marking can even avoid a misparse.  Consider to'nech Dup 031: 
{latlhpu' Qaghmey tI'angQo'!}  (That Dup hasn't been vetted yet, as I've 
just posted it, but anyhow.)

If that were:
   latlhpu' Qagh tI'angQo'!
It would, I think, still be a valid expression of the same thing, namely 
<NP <N latlhpu' > <N Qagh[plural]>> <VP tI'angQo'>.

However, if you parsed "Qagh" as a wotHom meaning "...mistaken", then you 
could parse that sentence as "do not reveal the others [who are] mistaken", 
<NP <N latlhpu' > <VAdj Qagh>> <VP tI'angQo'>.

So the "mey" on Qaghmey not only signals "this is plural", but also "this 
is a noun!".

Sean M. Burke

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