tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Thu Jul 09 09:47:55 2009

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RE: Questions with law'/puS

Steven Boozer (

>>>> This is what I was getting at when I proposed in another context
>>>> {SuS bIr HoS law''a' qo' Hov HoS pus'a'}. But I apparently only
>>>> dreamed that we had canon support for putting verb suffixes on 
>>>> the {law'/puS} pair.

>>> AFAIK the only verb suffix that has appeared on a {law'/puS} 
>>> pair is {-be'}:
>>>   QuchlIj vIl law'be' QuchwIj vIl puSbe'
>>>   your forehead isn't ridgier than my forehead (HQ 13.1)
>>> Note that it's on both {law'} and {puS}.

>> This is consistent with the adjectival use of verbs in general, 
>> where it seems that rovers {-qu', -be', -Ha'} are the only verb
>> suffixes seen in such use.

> We haven't seen {-'a'} used on an adjective verb?  This greatly 
> surprises me. Positive, negative and interrogative are such 
> fundamental modes of discourse that I find it almost impossible 
> to believe you couldn't use {-'a'} with an adjective.

I expected more, but I could only find 3 examples of {-'a'} on a quality:

  qIpmeH Qatlh'a'?
  Difficult to hit? ST5

  bImaw''a'?  Duvuv SuS DaneH'a'?
  Are you crazy? Do you want the wind to respect you? KGT

  Sum'a' raS? 
  Is the table near (me)? (HQ 12/1998)

>When people reacted so strongly to my use of {-'a'}, I concluded that we
>must have _no_ examples of verb suffixes on a {law'/puS} pair.  But now
>that I know we have canon for at least one verb suffix, {-be'}, I find it
>very hard to believe that we couldn't use {-'a'}.

FWIW I too have always thought that *{A Q law''a' B Q puS'a'} - suffix on both elements - would be the way to say "Is A Q-er than B?".  It may also turn out that the interrogative suffix is not used with this formula at all, only an "interrogative intonation".

Canon Master of the Klingons

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