tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Tue Nov 24 17:10:12 2009

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Re: pu'jIn

Christopher Doty (

> Okay, let's make everything work better by talking about the person
> rather than the science. A {pu'jIn chenmoHwI'} is a person who makes
> diagrams of places or things. So a {qach pu'jIn chenmoHwI'}, is a
> building that makes diagrams of places or things. :)

No, it's not.  In N-N constructions, there is genitive.  This is:

qach-GEN pu'jIn-GEN chenmoHwI'
"building's plan's maker"

> No, we have to reorganize the way we parse these nouns. It's not about a
> kind of {pu'jIn chenmoHwI'}, it's about the maker of {qach pu'jIn}. That
> makes more sense.
> Loading up on nouns in a noun phrase may make logical sense, but it's
> often difficult to parse.

I'll probably get in trouble for this, but it is difficult to parse
for English speakers because we have two genitive constructions, and
we do our best to keep them separate.  Thus, we say "the maker of the
building's plans" instead of "the building's plan's maker," and "the
front of the ship's nacelle" instead of "the ship's nacelle's front."
But in most languages, you only get one, and so it's fine to pile them
up.  More importantly, it means exactly the same thing. I KNOW this
seems weird, but it is just how you do it.  I can remember being in
Finland and being TOTALLY SHOCKED that the name of the city was,
literally, "Tampere's City" instead of "City of Tampere" because they
MEAN DIFFERENT THINGS.  They don't, of course, English is just
especially weird in this regard.

As far as I can tell, any time you have two nouns right next to each
other, there is always a genitive relationship between them (even when
they are compounds: HolQeD is "the science of language" or "language's
science").  So the only way to read the above is "building's plan's

> A noun–noun construction is formed as {X Y}, not {XY}. There is a space
> between the nouns; they are separate words. A compound noun is a single
> word.
> What you said *is* a perfectly valid noun–noun construction when {QeD}
> is its own word.

I assumed from the rest of your discussion that this issue of
noun-noun versus compound was about about the long first bit of that;
I had no idea whatsoever that you were taking issue with my writing
QeD as a compound. I'm fine with that being spaced out.

> So yes, you can string nouns together at will as separate nouns in
> noun–noun constructions, but you cannot form compound nouns at will;
> those must come from dictionaries.
>>> 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.
> meqlIj vIyaj 'ej vIpIHpu'. qay'be'.
> --
> SuStel
> tlhIngan Hol MUSH

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