tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Tue Feb 19 23:49:10 2002

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Re: A -moH suggestion

From: "Alan Anderson" <>
> But it isn't just a single example, and it isn't English grammar.  On the
> contrary, it is a splendid case of a verb suffix simply adding an extra
> idea to the sentence.  The similar "ditransitivity problem" with the verb
> {pong} was resolved in exactly the same way.  There is also the apparently
> exceptional definition of {tuQmoH} to consider.  The {Ha'quj} example
> meshes *extremely* well with the way {pong} works and the way {tuQmoH} is
> defined in the dictionary.  It works so well, in fact, that I have a very
> hard time believing that it wasn't designed that way.

The more I think about /tuQ/ and /tuQmoH/, the more I think TKD shows
evidence against them supporting the "heritage problem" /-moH/ mixup.

wear (clothes)

put on (clothes)

undress (v)

These really aren't so mysterious.  They're pretty ordinary.  The problem is
that the English definition of the second one isn't clear (there's that
English thinking getting in the way again!).  I could try to clarify:

wear (as in wearing clothes, not as in wearing down) (clothes as object)

cause someone to wear (as in wearing clothes)
**put (clothes) on someone**
"dress someone."

cause someone to take off (as in taking off clothes)
"undress someone"

The thing that's confused people is that they think "put on (clothes)" must
mean that clothes are the object.  But Okrand sometimes clarifies a meaning,
not an object, with parenthetical bits (in this case, to distinguish it from
something like "put something on the table").  This is supported by the fact
that /tuQHa'moH/ means "undress," not "take off with clothes as object."
/tuQmoH/ means "put (clothes) on someone," not "put on (clothes as object)."
/tuQmoH/ and /tuQHa'moH/ should, of course, be opposites.  The opposite of
the unambiguous "undress" is "dress."

/tuQmoH/ "cause someone to wear" is no stranger than /QoymoH/ "cause someone
to hear."  It just so happens that in English "wear" is never used
intransitively, and we have a different word for it when you make someone
else do it: "dress."

puq tuQmoH ghojmoq; yIvbeH tuQ puq.
The nanny dresses the child in a shirt.

tuQHa'chuqmoH SuvwI'pu'; DaSmey tuQHa'.
The warriors take off each other's boots.

HoD QoymoH QumpIn; jabbI'ID Qoy HoD.
The communications officer lets the captain hear the transmission.

There's absolutely no funny business going on here.  It's all by the book,
no additional grammar necessary.  Again, just look at basics, and stop
trying to leap about the root verb.  There are no issues of ditransitivity
at all if you look at verb+moH as just another verb.  Yes, Verb+moH really
IS Verb+moH, but the CONCEPT of Verb+moH is different than the concept of
Verb, and th concept of Verb+moH is a single entity.

Stardate 2138.8

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