tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Tue Nov 24 16:23:52 2009

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Re: pu'jIn

Christopher Doty (suomichris@gmail.com)



> 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.

You've assumed for this that pu'jIn really means map, and is only by
extension used to refer to building plans.  If the two meanings are
equal, there's no reason to prefer

> 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.

** ... 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.)**

To me, this means that nouns can be strung together at will, assuming
that the sense is reasonable.

Perhaps we're having an issue with "compound" versus "noun-noun." I
don't honestly see a difference, but I'm fully willing to admit that
what I said above wasn't a compound: sure, it doesn't occur in
dictionaries.  But it is a perfectly valid noun-noun(-noun etc.)
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 has to be reasoned out because pu'jIn is homophonous in Klingon,
but the same concepts are not in English.  You'd have to do the same
thing if you spoke a language that had a 1st plural
inclusive/exclusive distinction and were trying to translate from
English into it: well, the English says "we," but here it is
"we-exclusive" and not "we-inclusive."  But this doesn't mean that
English speakers have any trouble with figuring out what "we" means;
it's an issue of translation.

> 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.

Fair enough.

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

Well, sorry, then.  I've gotten rather used to being attacked on here,
so I just assumed that you were doing the same.  Again, apologies.






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