tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Fri Jun 14 16:27:54 2002

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Re: Headers. Yet again.

> >> bIQtIqDaq vIjaH.
> Will writes:
> >This is a special exception, it is noted as one and you know it...
> >
> >It does nothing to reinforce your point that in theory, you can use Type 5
> >suffixes on nouns while they are the subject or object of a main verb...
> Hold on a bit.  Whether you're right on this or he is, *you* are addressing
> exactly the wrong point here.  The central issue that I think SuStel tried
> to bring up when he made his first comment in this tread is the difference
> between two statements:
> 1) A noun acting as other than subject or object comes before the object.

This rule which is explicitly described in TKD has no known exceptions, unless 
you want to stretch things to include dependent clauses which can follow the 
main verb (which would be absurd).

> 2) A noun with a Type 5 suffix (with exceptions) comes before the object.

This is a descriptive rule about the grammar which happens to be true whether 
it is in TKD or not. You and SuStel both want to argue that I'm basing this 
descriptive rule upon the rule mentioned in TKD. I'm not. I'm basing it on more 
than a decade of observing canon.

Okrand alludes to this rule when he states rule #1. He says that these 
nouns "usually" have Type 5 suffixes. In a couple decades with the language, 
he's only introduced the {-'e'} exceptions and the verb-of-motion exceptions to 
explain any use of a Type 5 suffixed noun that DOESN'T go before the direct 
object. Read that and watch canon for a few years and you start to realize that 
aside from time stamps, pretty much every noun that does something other than 
act as subject or object gets a Type 5 noun suffix.

From that, it becomes pretty obvious that the role of subject and object are 
defined positionally, time stamps are defined by a combination of position and 
meaning, and all other nouns have their syntax indicated by Type 5 noun 

There are two exceptions to this. The first is that {-'e'} is obviously 
different from other Type 5 noun suffixes. You put it on the subject of all "to 
be" sentences and it can go on the subject or object to indicate emphasis. It 
can indicate "topic" on a noun before the direct object, though some are not 
convinced that this is valid use of {-'e'} despite several canon examples.

The second exception is that certain verbs of motion can, optionally, place the 
locative suffixes {-Daq} or {-vo'} on their direct object.

This is a descriptive rule of the grammar, whether it is explicit in TKD or 
not. Do you really want to argue to say that it is not accurate? Are you really 
so afraid to wander beyond the explicit wording in TKD, even when Okrand tells 
us that the rules as stated in TKD are less important than usage in canon?

Okrand has broken the rules he states in TKD quite a few times, quite often in 
ways that we think are quite natural. We want to use Type 7 verb suffixes on 
verbs with {-jaj}. We want to use Type 7 verb suffixes on the second verb of 
SAO. We want to finish a sentence with {tu'lu'}, even when the direct object is 
plural and we know it should be {lutu'lu'} because {tu'lu'} has basically 
become a fossilized way to end a sentence, similar to {qar'a'} or {rIntaH} or 
{vaj bIHegh}. Okrand does these things repeatedly, and we become less attached 
to the exact wording of what Okrand has said are the descriptive, not 
prescriptive, rules in TKD.

Since the rules describe the grammar as it is observed by Maltz, there is 
nothing wrong with noticing consistent patterns in examples and making new 
generalities, so long as they remain obviously consistent over the years.

But, as I said, it's a free country. If you want to just not notice that except 
for {-'e'} and except for special verbs of motion, all Type 5 suffixed nouns go 
before the direct object, go for it. Keep your eyes peeled for all those canon 
examples where Okrand puts Type 5 noun suffixes on subjects and objects. I'm 
sure we'll see lots of them any day now.


> TKD gives us Statement #1 and notes that such nouns usually have a Type 5
> suffix.  Most people seem to internalize that in the form of Statement #2,
> and then repeat Statement #2 as if it were the real rule, without even
> realizing that they're not the same thing.
> >When you teach newcomers, you teach them the most dependable generalities
> >about
> >the language and as they learn more, you introduce the common exceptions to
> >those "rules". As they learn more, you introduce them to the more rare
> >exceptions. If they get that far, you can then start theorizing about how
> >other
> >exceptions might exist, even though there's no evidence for it. You don't
> >confuse newcomers by immediately insisting that they consider the theoretical
> >possibility that a particular rule might have exceptions to it that no one 
> >ever seen in canon.
> The most dependable generality here *is* Statement #1, as presented in TKD.
> The "exceptions" about {-'e'} and verbs of motion are only exceptions if
> your model of Klingon grammar includes Statement #2.
> -- ghunchu'wI'

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