tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Wed Nov 25 09:02:46 2009

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Re: The topic marker -'e'

ghunchu'wI' 'utlh (qunchuy@alcaco.net)



On Mon, Nov 23, 2009 at 4:10 PM, David Trimboli <david@trimboli.name> wrote:
> ...But this is semantics; it all depends on context:
>
>> Labels like "agent" and "patient" appear to have as much cultural
>> relevance as they do grammatical importance.
>
> Of course! Welcome to the wonderful world of semantics!
>
> ...semantics *is* grammar, just as much as syntax is!

I agree wholeheartedly with the idea that semantics is
context-dependent. It is all about meaning, which can vary from
situation to situation even if the representation is the same. That's
exactly why I see no utility in trying to pigeonhole subjects into one
category or another. I am of the opinion that applying
context-sensitive labels that don't have relevance to the sentence
structure is an act of naming, not one of understanding. I *firmly*
believe that such labels are unproductive at best when trying to
actually use Klingon rather than to analyze it. And I've seen more
than enough cases where linguists' jargon ends up being
*counterproductive*, as when someone uses the term "imperfective" to
describe the verb suffix {-lI'} or claims that "stative" verbs in
Klingon are always adjectives because they know what "adjective"
means.

-- ghunchu'wI'






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