tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Sun Jul 12 08:57:04 2009

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Re: Questions with law'/puS

Terrence Donnelly (terrence.donnelly@sbcglobal.net) [KLI Member]



--- On Sat, 7/11/09, qe'San (Jon Brown) <qeSan@btinternet.com> wrote:
> See Maltz's Reward Part IV  HolQeD 13:1 pg 10:
> 
> QuchwIj vIl law' QuchlIj vIl puS
> my forehead is reidgier than your forehead
> 
> To diagree with this notion, that is, to assert that your
> forehead is not 
> ridgier than mine (it may be the same), one would use the
> construction A Q 
> law'be'  B Q puSbe' (A's Q is not many, B's Q is not
> few) (-be' not):
> 
> QuchlIj vIl law'be' QuchwIj vIl puSbe'
>  your forehead isn't ridgier than my forehead
> 

Please note that, although I was warned in the direst terms not to think of the contrastive verb pair in {law'/puS} as having the force of verbs, or to try to analyze the construction at all, MO has analyzed it, and that is evidently how MO thinks of them.  From MO's own words, it appears that the Q word takes on a nominative meaning (the abstract quality described by the adjective verb), which is modified by the A as if it were an N1-N2 compound, for which the comparative verb acts like a predicate. Think of it as a kind of topic phrase: "As for your forehead's ridginess, it is few." It doesn't matter how different the syntax is from any other Klingon sentences, since the comparative is unique, because Okrand has actually parsed the syntax for us.

I still believe that the interrogative is such a fundamental discourse mode that I would be shocked speechless if {law''a'/puS'a'} turned out to be illegal. But, given the lack of corroboration, I probably would refrain from using it under normal circumstances.

-- ter'eS






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