tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Fri Aug 09 00:27:09 2002

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Re: adverbials

ja' Andrew Strader <>:
>...-mo' and its kin are really better thought of as phrase
>suffixes, rather than noun suffixes. (See TKD 4.4).  Not unless you choose an extremely limited definition of
"phrase" to include only nouns optionally followed by a verb of quality
acting in an adjectival manner (with suitable subdefinitions dealing with
noun-noun constructions).

The only *real* exceptional thing about the placement of type 5 noun
suffixes is that they attach to adjectival verbs instead of to the modified
noun itself.   You can get into real connotative problems if you try to say
the suffix goes on the end of a "phrase" -- I think most people would
consider {'u' Sepmey Sovbe'lu'bogh} to be a phrase, but {-Daq} goes on the
end of {Sepmey}, not the end of the entire phrase.

>Why does -mo' seem like a noun suffix most of the time? Simply because Okrand
>chose not to put any space between a word and a type 5 noun suffix.

Huh?  {-mo'} seems like a noun suffix when it appears on a noun, and it
seems like a verb suffix when it appears on a verb.  Okrand chose to build
the idea of suffixes into Klingon grammar, and suffixes don't have spaces
between them and the word they are attached to.  If he had chosen to put
spaces between the word and the "suffix", they wouldn't be suffixes
anymore.  They'd be "postfixes" or something.

> But
>spaces or lacks thereof don't really carry any grammatical force.

Huh? again.  Lack of a space is what indicates to us that something is part
of the same word, making it either a suffix or part of a compound noun.
Presence of an intervening space is what indicates that something is a
separate word.

> It could
>very well have been "ram mo'".

But {ram mo'} means "night's cage."  Other valid interpretations are
possible as well, but none of them involve suffixes.

> It is important to remember that the entire
>phrase is what goes in the header position.

...Depending on exactly what you mean by "phrase", anyway.

>The bottom line is that a phrase like "rammo'" modifies the core OVS sentence
>as a whole. That is, it's acting in an adverbial sense. And it just so
>happens that adverbials occur in the "head" (or "header" if you like)
>position of the sentence.

I think you're causing more confusion than you realize with this "bottom
line" explanation.  You come very close to stating outright that adding the
noun suffix {-mo'} to a noun *turns it into* an adverbial, an idea which I
reject.  Many verb suffixes also act in an adverbial sense, and many
subordinate clauses do the same thing, but they're not what The Klingon
Dictionary labels as adverbials.

-- ghunchu'wI'

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