tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Fri Feb 22 23:35:02 2002

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Re: agentive -wI'

>From: "Rohan Fenwick" <>
>>Dajatlhbogh vIyajlaHbe'
>>I find no match for what you just said. (KCD .wav file)
>Not having KCD, this is the first time I have seen this sentence, and I 
>it unusual. Literally translated, I get "I cannot understand (implicit: 
>sentence") which you say". In my mind, it seems that <<Dajatlhbogh>> has
>been (semi-) nominalised with no supporting suffix.
>My question is: Is this just a result of Dr Okrand directly translating "I
>can't understand what you are saying" into English and forcing "what" into
>the realm of the relative <<-bogh>>, which we know is less productive than
>the English relative pronouns; or is there some deeper force at work here?

No, the problem is that there is no head noun for the relative clause.  We 
don't know if pronouns can act as head nouns for relative clauses, we don't 
know if you can or should elide them if they can, and we don't know that "it 
which you said" is better than "<noun> which you said"; it seems clumsy as a 
head noun.  I suspect it's a result of Okrand trying too hard to mimic the 
original English he had before him.

As you say, /Dajatlhbogh/ has become semi-nominalized, and that's not what 
/-bogh/ clauses are supposed to do.  This word is floating out there in 
linguistic space, not really related to anything else.

And there's always some joker out there who wants to point out that the 
sound file isn't actually used in the Language Lab itself; it's an unused 
file on the CD.  I'm not sure why inclusion in the Lab makes it what Okrand 
intended and not being included makes it not what he wanted; he wasn't 
involved with the programming of the game.

>Either way, I've been enlightened as to a way of translating "speech"
>without using the dreaded <<-ghach>>. :)

What's wrong with /QIch/ or /SoQ/?

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