tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Mon Dec 10 10:51:51 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:
> writes:
>> 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.
> This is explicitly stated in TKD 3.3.2:

I know it's explicitly stated. That's how I can use it as a 
demonstration of why proper Klingon (or even colloqial Klingon!) isn't 
always that which makes the most sense. The point is that if "making 
sense" were the only criteria for acceptable Klingon, you'd have to 
throw out a lot of perfectly good, nonsensical rules.

There are certain people, for another instance, who would insist that 
the sentence *{bIpuj 'e' vItobta'} is a perfectly valid way to say "I 
have proven that you are weak." Perfectly valid, they would claim, 
because, despite the explicit rule in TKD against putting a Type 7 verb 
suffix on the first verb in a sentence-as-object constructions, it 
"makes sense" and "should be allowed." But this just isn't so. The 
correct sentence is {bIpujta' 'e' vItob}.

Now, there's little in our sources regarding a sentence like *{maleng 
qorDu'}, except the general rule that a verb prefix should agree with 
its subject and object. The point is that being able to make sense out 
of something doesn't mean it's valid, and without some kind of 
supporting evidence *{maleng qorDu'} is simply an error where the verb 
prefix doesn't match the subject.

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