tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Fri Jun 21 08:23:35 2002

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Re: subjectless verbs (was: matlhHa'ghach)

> > SIS is not attested in a sentence in canon, so we really don't know 
>Well, DloraH reports that Okrand used /SIS/ in a number of sentences spoken
>to him, and never was a subject explicitly used, though the subject is
>supposed to be things like rainclouds and so on.

qatlh vangwI' poQ wotvam?  "dummy" vangwI' ghaj "English" Hol wot, "French" 
Hol wot je.  (It's raining.  Il pleut.)  pagh vangwI' ghaj "Finnish" Hol 
wot.  (Sataa.)  vangwI' poQbe' wot <SIS>.

Identifying the subject of 'SIS' is like identifying the referent of 'it' in 
the English equivalent.  Nobody even thinks about what it might once have 
been.  When you say "It's raining", do you have an explicit subject in mind, 
or are you just filling in the subject slot with a dummy because you're 
expressing the general situation?  What about "It's cold" or "It's hot"?  
The only reason we put a subject on those at all is because English grammar 
requires it.  But nobody actually has a referent in mind when they say "It's 
raining", unlike, for example, "It bit me".

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