tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Fri Aug 23 12:07:54 2002

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N5 semantics vs. syntax

ja' SuStel:
>And whether or not such a thing actually exists, the interpretation is a
>useful one to understand things like WHY verbs of motion can take locative
>objects, and why /-'e'/ can appear as subject or object.  It explains what
>we DO see, while not forcing you to do something which we DON'T see.

It also doesn't prohibit you from doing something we don't see, which I
think is the major reason some have a problem with this interpretation.

The liberal voice would say something like this:

"Nothing keeps you from wearing street shoes on the beach, but you never
see anyone do it.  It just doesn't make sense.  If you do it without an
obviously good reason, expect people to look at you funny, but there aren't
any rules against it."

The [overly] strict position is more like:

"You can't wear street shoes on the beach.  It's against the law.  Never
mind that the law isn't written down anywhere; it's just obviously illegal."

The distinction is with how seriously one takes the idea of an "obviously
wrong" construction.  Assuming that {muquvmoH wo'vo'} is wrong, is it
because of its meaning, or because subjects a priori can't have {-vo'}?
The former has a loophole, where appropriate context can usually be
invented to justify the construction.  The latter interpretation requires
an explicit addition to the rules as stated in TKD.

I'll go with the former and avoid adding rules where none are given to us.

-- ghunchu'wI'

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