tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Mon Dec 10 08:01:36 2007

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Re: Prefix and noun agreement (was: usage of type-7 aspect suffix {-pu})

David Trimboli ( [KLI Member] [Hol po'wI'] wrote:
 > The whole discussion seems to hinge on whether ordinary nouns,
 > especially animate nouns, have person as an inherent category.  I
 > don't think they do, so using e.g. {tlhIngan} as the subject of a verb
 > with a prefix indicating a first or second person subject makes good
 > sense to me.  It's also done in Spanish:  Los mejicanos somos... (We
 > Mexicans are ...).

On the other hand, one might conclude that since {no'} "ancestors"
refers to a plural noun, *{no'wI' chaH no'lI''e'} must be fine; it makes
perfect sense. However, it's wrong: the correct sentence is {no'wI' ghaH
no'lI''e'} "your ancestors are my ancestors," however weird that looks.
(This came up on the MUSH the other day.) It doesn't make sense, but 
that's the way it is.

I also don't think nouns are in any person other than third, but that's 
exactly why I *don't* agree with using the wrong suffix. Third person 
subjects and objects get third person-related prefixes (unless they're 
conjoined with a first or second person pronoun).

Sometimes it's important to follow nonsensical rules instead of
rationalizing. If we force the language to accommodate our biases, we
lose all those wonderful elements that make the language really live.

Stardate 7941.5

Practice the Klingon language on the tlhIngan Hol MUSH.
telnet 2218

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