tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Tue Nov 24 15:50:41 2009

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Re: pu'jIn

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

Christopher Doty wrote:
>> I doubt I'd go through this reasoning if I were to encounter this in
>> text or in a conversation.
> Why? It says what it means.  There isn't any reasoning to go through.
> It says "The science of making (building) plans."

It says "(building) plan/map making science." First, I have to figure 
out what you mean by "(building)." If I just saw {pu'jIn chenmoHghach 
QeD}, I'd think "cartography." Now, one might think of "building 
cartography" as "architecture," but it didn't come to my mind 
immediately. If someone told you out of the blue that he practices 
"building cartography," you'd at least have to pause to figure out what 
he meant.

>> Putting aside for the moment the issue of
>> whether we can create new compound nouns,
> I can create any compound noun I want.  Does Okrand say that compound
> nouns are not allowed somewhere?

TKD 3.4: The noun–noun construction
    Some combinations of two (or more) nouns in a row are so common as to
    have become everyday words. These are the compound nouns (as
    discussed in section 3.2.1). In addition, it is possible to combine
    nouns in the manner of a compound noun to produce a new construct
    even if it is not a legitimate compound noun ("legitimate" in the
    sense that it would be found in a dictionary.)
       [Then the discussion of how the noun–noun construction works.]

In other words, compound nouns appear in dictionaries. To make your own 
compounds, use the noun–noun construction.

In addition, Okrand doesn't use compound nouns in sentences unless he's 
already put the compound noun in the word lists, or explicitly tells us 
it's a word. When he wants one noun to modify another noun (i.e., to 
play a genitive role), he uses the noun–noun construction. For instance, 
KGT gives us {baS 'In} "metal drum," not *{baS'In}.

There are a couple of words he waffles on. I believe we have both 
{ro'qegh 'Iwchab} and {ro'qegh'Iwchab}, for example. In cases like this 
we must assume that either is correct; we cannot "enforce" the use of 
one over the other.

>> I see "(building) map/plan
>> making science." {pu'jIn chenmoHghach QeD} (or, more simply, {pu'jIn
>> QeD}) makes me think of cartography, not architecture, and I'm not sure
>> adding {qach} would clarify it sufficiently.
> That is because you are a native speaker of English (or some other
> non-Klingon language), and we have two different words for 'map' and
> 'building plan'.  With building to clarify, there really isn't
> anything else it could mean, unless there is some sort of science in
> Klingon for studying those little maps that you find in shopping
> malls.

I agree with this reasoning. But you see, you *did* have to reason it 
out. {pu'jIn chenmoHghach QeD} could describe "cartography," but with 
{qach} in front of it, it could only describe "architecture." Even a 
Klingon might have to pause to understand it. It wouldn't appear in his 
dictionary; he'd have to reason it out that way.

>> It's a rather unwieldy term in any case.
> So?  This is how languages actually do this sort of thing (German and
> Finnish being two rather well-known examples).  The comparative
> construction which started this thread is horribly unwieldy from an
> English perspective, but this says nothing about whether it is right
> or not.

I didn't say that made it wrong. I just said it was unwieldy. I find it 
aesthetically displeasing. That is not a statement about its 
grammaticality, just a personal observation.

>> This tends to
>> happen a lot when trying to come up with ways of translating scientific
>> or professional jargon. One should always try to eliminate hindsight
>> words from one's Klingon.
> Who? Why? Where? Does Okrand say this somewhere?  Or is this your own
> pearl of wisdom?

Easy there, buddy! I'm on your side.

tlhIngan Hol MUSH

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