tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Tue Nov 24 17:21:37 2009

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Re: The topic marker -'e'

ghunchu'wI' (

On Nov 24, 2009, at 3:05 PM, Christopher Doty wrote:

> It's not circular.  Okrand makes it very clear that Klingon has three
> types of verbs: quality/condition verbs, which can be used as
> adjectives, and other verbs, which cannot.

The third type of verb is far from clear.  You didn't list it, but I  
assume you're talking about the non-quality verbs which never have  
objects?  It's so subtle and unobvious that the person generally  
recognized as the first fluent speaker of Klingon, bearing the title  
of Grammarian, missed it entirely for at least a decade, and perhaps  
still doesn't believe in it.

But we've switched from talking about nouns to talking about verbs.   
That doesn't help me with the troubling issue of giving different  
labels to nouns which don't act differently.

> This is relevant to
> understanding how these verbs are used in different ways.  It relates
> to the subject in that, with verbs of quality, you can have a pronoun
> followed by an adjectival verb (jIH Do' as in the comparative
> construction),

If you're talking about the {jIH Do' law' SoH Do' puS} example, {jIH  
Do'} isn't a pronoun followed by an adjectival verb.  {jIH} is the  
"A" noun and {Do'} is the "Q" verb in the "A Q law' B Q puS"  
formula.  You can't literally interpret it as "many fortunate me, few  
fortunate you".

> whereas you presumably can't with active verbs, since
> you can't postpose the active verbs.  Thus, the subjects of
> quality/condition verbs and active verbs are different.

Verbs used to modify a noun in the manner of an adjective don't have  
subjects, so I'm not getting the relevance.  I don't see the link  
between "you can use some verbs one way and not others" and "these  
verbs have different kinds of subjects".  And even if there are  
different kinds of subjects, I *still* don't see what difference it  
makes in actual practice, as the proposed subjects all act the same.

-- ghunchu'wI'

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