tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Tue Nov 24 17:13:30 2009

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Re: pu'jIn

Christopher Doty (

>From what I have seen, I can't see a difference.  All of the compounds
are easily analyzed as "X-GEN Y."  It could be that there is some
difference phonologically (the difference between black bird and
blackbird in English is stress, for example, but we aren't consistent
in this: White House, based on prosody, should be Whitehouse).  So,

On Tue, Nov 24, 2009 at 17:01, André Müller <> wrote:
> The "distinction" between {XY} and {X Y} might cause a problem.
> Is there any known semantic or phonological or syntactic or morphological
> (read: ANY) difference between a noun–noun construction and a compound in
> Klingon, besides the orthography?
> Might {X Y} be a possessive construction actually? Can {X} in {X Y} be
> modified by suffixes or even adjectives? If so, then it might not be
> (linguistically) appropriate to call them compounds, but rather possessive
> constructions or something similar.
> - André
> 2009/11/25 David Trimboli <>
>> Christopher Doty wrote:
>> >> 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
>> 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, 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.
>> >> 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.
>> 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.
>> 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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