tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Mon Nov 23 07:28:53 2009

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Re: The topic marker -'e'

David Trimboli ( [KLI Member] [Hol po'wI']

ghunchu'wI' 'utlh wrote:
> On Sun, Nov 22, 2009 at 4:07 PM, Christopher Doty <> wrote:
>> "mapum" might not be ungrammatical, but what is "mapum Sor"??  If we
>> translate literally into English, we get
>> "(A/the) tree we fall."
>> What does that mean?  How can you write a computer program to provide
>> a translation of something that doesn't really mean anything?
> It depends on what priority you give various rules. If you make the
> rule of accord extremely strong, you are compelled to treat {Sor} as a
> first-person plural and it has a clear meaning (except for the dual
> meaning of {pum}). If you treat "person-ness" as an inherent feature
> of a noun and consider {Sor} as always third person, you have a
> contradiction in the verb prefix. We already deal well with
> contradictory objects (the "prefix trick"), so that's not
> automatically a deal-breaker.

But even with the prefix trick the verb prefix agrees with an object. 
The prefix trick states that when the indirect object is in the first or 
second person, the verb prefix may agree with the indirect object 
instead of the direct object. The only difference between the standard 
use of verb prefixes and the prefix trick is that prefixes using the 
prefix trick agree with indirect instead of direct objects. They still 
agree with the object they refer to. In no case has any rule ever told 
us that verb prefixes may *disagree* with the objects they're referring to.

tlhIngan Hol MUSH

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