tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Fri Aug 23 09:30:18 2002

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Re: Deconstructing {law'/puS}

>  reH latlh qabDaq qul tuj law' Hoch tuj puS.
>  The fire is always hotter on someone else's face. PK
>>  > ...the whole sentence means "there is nothing hotter than
>>>  fire on someone elses face", which implies that on the own face there
>>>  can be something hotter than fire. this is not the meaning of the
>>>  translation "the fire is always hotter on someone else's face".
>>Trying to decompose a {law'/puS} comparative as if it were a regular
>>sentence isn't going to work.  It follows its own rules of grammar, which
>>aren't as well-documented as they might be.  Perhaps the {latlh qabDaq} is
>>attached only to the first part of the phrase.
>There's another example of this sort of thing from SkyBox S7, which 
>contains two comparisons:
>   DujvamDaq tlhIngan nuH tu'lu'bogh pov law' Hoch pov puS 'ej DujvamDaq 'op
>    SuvwI' tu'lu'bogh po' law' tlhIngan yo' SuvwI' law' po' puS
>   It [IKV Pagh] has the best weapons and some of the finest warriors in the
>    Klingon fleet.

i don't understand this sentence.
/DujvamDaq 'op SuvwI' tu'lu'bogh po' law' thlIngan yo' SuvwI' law' po' puS/

some of the warriors on this ship are more skilled than /tlhIngan yo' 
SuvwI' law' po'/.
what does /tlhIngan yo' SuvwI' law' po'/ mean?

>where {DujvamDaq tlhIngan nuH tu'lu'bogh} "the Klingon weapons 
>located on this ship" and {DujvamDaq 'op SuvwI' tu'lu'bogh} "some of 
>the warriors on this ship" are the A element in the formula {A Q 
>law' B Q puS}.
>>                                                Perhaps there's something
>>special about syntactic markers and superlatives that yields an unusual
>My own interpretation is that {reH latlh qabDaq} is an introductory 
>phrase for the *entire* law'/puS formula, not just the first 
>element.  We've seen other examples (I'm making the law'/puS formula 
>per se in angle brackets).  The clearest of these is:
>   tlhutlhmeH <HIq ngeb qaq law' bIQ qaq puS>
>   Drinking fake ale is better than drinking water. TKW
>   ("for drinking, fake ale is better than water")
>{tlhutlhmeH} applies here to both A and B elements as Okrand has 
>actually repeated "drinking" in the translation for each.
>Other examples:
>   jonlu'meH <wo'maj pop tIn law' Hoch tIn puS>
>   Our Empire's highest bounty has been placed on his head. (ST5 notes)
>   ("in order to capture him, our Empire's reward is the biggest")
>   qIbDaq SuvwI''e' <SoH Dun law' Hoch Dun puS>
>   You would be the greatest warrior in the galaxy. ST5
>   ("as for warrior(s) in the galaxy, you are the greatest")
>   noH ghoblu'DI' <yay quv law' Hoch quv puS>
>   In war there is nothing more honorable than victory. TKW
>   ("when/as soon as one wages war, victory is the most honorable")
>   tlhIngan wo' yuQmey chovlu'chugh <Qo'noS potlh law' Hoch potlh puS>
>   The principal planet of the Klingon Empire, Qo'noS... S27
>   ("if one assesses Klingon Empire planets, Qo'noS is the most important")
>I admit that you could analyze some of these differently, but 
>viewing all that "header" verbiage as an introductory phrase seems 
>to be the easiest way to understand some of the more complicated 
>examples of {law'/puS}.

i agree with these examples. but yet the qul-sentence seems different.

reH latlh qabDaq qul tuj law' Hoch tuj puS.
The fire is always hotter on someone else's face. PK

if you analise it this way:

reH latlh qabDaq <qul tuj law' Hoch tuj puS>.

then it means "always on someone else's face, fire is the hottest."
i repeat that this would be strange. i mean, this proverb probably 
don't say that on someone else's face you cannot find something 
hotter than "fire", but that you cannot find something hotter than 
"fire on someone else's face."

so "fire on someone else's face" must be the a-argument.

how can we say "fire on someone else's face"? for example: "latlh 
qabDaq qul tu'lu'bogh", right? then it would make sence:

/reH <latlh qabDaq qul tu'lu'bogh tuj law' Hoch tuj puS>./

_this_ is "the fire on someone else's face is always the hottest."

if the former sentence has the same meaning, then these two sentences 
are equal:

/reH latlh qabDaq qul tuj law' Hoch tuj puS./
/reH latlh qabDaq qul tu'lu'bogh tuj law' Hoch tuj puS./

and that would mean that /latlh qabDaq qul/ and /latlh qabDaq qul 
tu'lu'bogh/ are be equal.


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