tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Mon Nov 23 10:26:08 2009

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Re: The topic marker -'e'

Christopher Doty (

As I said in my last email, the truly analogous case would be "Robots we kill."

On Mon, Nov 23, 2009 at 04:49, Steven Lytle <> wrote:
> On Mon, Nov 23, 2009 at 1:51 AM, Christopher Doty <>wrote:
>> > Subjects aren't distinct from agents. Both intransitive and transitive
>> verbs
>> > have subjects. Both transitive ('kill') and intransitive verbs ('run')
>> can
>> > have agents as subjects.
>> Dude. I am not getting paid to teach you linguistics.
>> Subjects and agents are distinct.  In English (and Klingon, and a
>> butt-load of other languages), subjects and agents get treated the
>> same (he runs, he kills him).  However, there is a second butt-load of
>> languages where subjects and OBJECTS are treated the same, and AGENTS
>> are treated differently (e.g., if forced to use English, him runs, he
>> kills him).  Thus, the 'S' that I was using to gloss that morpheme
>> means that it is a prefix which does not indicate an object.  Because
>> terms like subject and agent can be surprising loaded, these are often
>> simply shorted in linguistics to S, A, and O.
>> > You equated the subject of a verb with the object, for which there is no
>> > justification. I equated two subjects.
>> Because you decided that Sor was a subject (and a 1pl subject at that)
>> a priori.  What I was pointing out is that, if we decide a priori what
>> is what, then there is no reason for the "robots" in "We kill robots"
>> to be considered an object; it is actually a subject, because I
>> decided it is a subject (even though there is no justification for
>> this).  So no, I did exactly the same thing.
>> Chris
>> No, I didn't pick their role a priori. "Sor" is a subject because it
> follows its verb (you know, OVS, and all that?)
> By the same token, objects follow their verb in English.
> So it's you who is being arbitrary, not I.
> I did one thing, and you did something different.
> lay'tel SIvten

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