tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Fri Mar 01 15:08:05 2002

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Re: yaywIj yIngaq!

> From: <>
> > > First is the use of the noun suffix {-Hom} on {Hoch} in Skybox card S13:
> > > {tera' vatlh DIS poH cha'maH wej HochHom lo'lu'taH.}  {Hoch} arguably
> acts
> > > like a number in some cases, though probably not this one, so this
> actually
> > > doesn't provide any real support for noun suffixes on numbers.
> >
> > {Hoch} is a noun in TKD. {HochHom} is a noun in KGT. Neither are numbers.
> It's not as straightfoward as that.  Numbers sometimes act like nouns, and
> some nouns have been known to act like numbers.  /Hoch/, /HochHom/, /'op/,
> /bID/, and maybe a few more seem to modify other nouns in exactly the same
> way that numbers do.  Then there's the word /pagh/ which is both a noun and
> a number (and even a conjunction!).

I don't think we've ever had {bID}'s use clarified. Likely you are right, but 
when I actually try to use {bID}, especially in combination with other number 
words, I find myself quickly humbled.

Certainly, for the rest of the words mentioned, you are right. I found this 
very confusing when this use of these words was first revealed, since this use 
of the nouns {Hoch}, etc. seems to reverse the word order implied by the 
general use of genetive (the noun-noun possessive) construction in Klingon. 

This is, in part, why I'm so unsure about {bID}. It's not that we didn't have 
any rules for the use of {Hoch}. We had some apparent rules, and they were 
wrong when we actually got to see the use of these words. Different rules 
applied. So, if different rules apply for {Hoch, HochHom, 'op} then how can we 
be sure that {bID} fits that rule instead of the genetive rule for nouns?

While I'm certainly willing to accept that {bID} is like {Hoch}, I'm a little 
less certain in that assumption than you are.

> In the above example, /HochHom/ is not acting like a number; instead of
> counting the noun (phrase), it's telling us how much of a particular noun
> (phrase) there is.  This sentence is the basis of my belief that /Hoch chab/
> means "each pie," /chab Hoch/ means "all of the pie," and /chab HochHom/
> means "almost all of the pie."  Likewise, I believe that /'op chab/ means
> "some of the pies," and /chab 'op/ means "some of the pie" (and I'll just
> betcha that /'opHom chab/ would be taken as "a few of the pies," and /chab
> 'opHom/ as "a little bit of the pie").

Interesting. If I stumbled across this, it would cause me pause, but I'd 
understand it all. I think all this should be high on the list of things for 
someone to talk to Okrand about next time we get that opportunity. Perhaps he 
would enjoy a general discussion of numbers, accuracy, number related nouns 
(like {Hoch, 'op, bID} and their possibilities with {-Hom} and {-'a'}, leading 
or trailing nouns.

> > > So if I really needed to talk about "a little less than seven minutes",
> I'd
> > > feel most comfortable with something like {Soch tupHom}, but I'd
> probably
> > > only use it without reservation if I intended to imply a prearranged
> period
> > > of time being cut short.  I'd understand if someone said {SochHom}, but
> I
> > > would only say it myself for rhetorical effect.
> >
> > That's an interesting idea, though I doubt I'd be comfortable using either
> of
> > these devices until I got something from Okrand about it. For that matter,
> if
> > you want to talk about almost seven minutes, you'd likely stretch things
> less
> > to say {HochHom Soch tup}. That doesn't give you a device for saying
> "around
> > seven minutes", or "a little more than seven minutes", but then that would
> > violate the whole "inaccurate, but not approximate" advice.
> I find these uses of /-Hom/ to be very hindsightish, though not impossible.
> How about /Soch tup, lup puS je/?

It still bothers me some. I really think Okrand tossed off the "inaccurate, but 
never approximate" joke just so he'd never have to deal with this. He doesn't 
want to work with the grammar or idiom needed to make things approximate, so he 
just declares that it is against cultural convention to be approximate. I can 
live with that, and until he explains something otherwise or accepts 
suggestions otherwise, I don't feel any need to nail this down to some sort of 
convention independent of Okrand.

> SuStel
> Stardate 2165.2


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