tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Mon Jul 15 13:55:20 2002

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RE: RE: KLBC: adverbs

DloraH, BG wrote:
> >> And, if you're going to put the word in quotes, it's "adverbial".
> >
> > I know that I don't know exactly the word.
> > what's the difference adverbial/adverb?
>You were quoting MO; he use "adverbial" (whatever the difference is, if any).

My (admittedly simplistic) understanding is that an adverbial is something 
that is "adverb-like".

The practical distinction I think Okrand is using is that, in many 
languages, adverbs can be recognized either by their form or by some 
affix:  e.g. -ly ("cleverly") and -wise ("counter-clockwise") in English; 
-o in Russian ("khorosho", "velikolepno"); -e and -iter in Latin ("bene", 
"celeriter"); etc.  Thus, even though you don't know the meaning or root of 
a particular adverb, you can at least tell what part of speech it 
is.  Adverbials OTOH cannot be so identified; they have to be 
learned.  Note that English uses both adverbs as well as adverbials:

   He runs quickly/clumsily.

"quickly" and "clumsily" are adverbs, as they have the standard adverb 
ending -ly.

   He runs fast/quick/well/good.

"fast/quick" and "well/good" are adverbials, three of which are identical 
in form to adjectives.(N.B. "fast" and "good" are also considered 
sub-standard style.)  If you didn't know the meaning of the words, there's 
no way to tell (short of looking them up in a dictionary) that they aren't 
nouns or part of a compound verb (e.g. "He runs numbers") or something else 
entirely.  To further complicate matters for those trying to learn English, 
"fast" is also homophonous to the verb "fast", and "well" to the noun "well".

Klingon "adverbials" cannot be identified as such, which is why Okrand 
never calls them adverbs.  If you don't know the word, there is no way of 
telling whether it is an adverbial, an unsuffixed noun, an un-affixed verb, 
or even a name.   The only hint is its position at the head of the OVS 
string.  And syntax is not 100% reliable.  Consider the difficulty in parsing:

   torgh, yIghoS!
   "Torg, approach!"

   torgh yIghoS!
   "Approach Torg!"

   tugh yIghoS!
   "Approach quickly! Come quickly!"

if you didn't know the meaning of {torgh} or {tugh}.

The disadvantage of the Klingon system - which has been commented on at 
length in recent threads - is that new adverbs cannot be freely formed 
simply by adding the requisite affix (e.g. clumsy/clumsily, 
skillful/skillfully, etc., etc.).

Ca'Non Master of the Klingons

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