tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Wed Nov 25 14:15:00 2009

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Re: The topic marker -'e'

David Trimboli ( [KLI Member] [Hol po'wI']

Christopher Doty wrote:
> On Wed, Nov 25, 2009 at 13:34, David Trimboli <> wrote:
>> Christopher Doty wrote:
>>> Huh...  It's not a N-N construction, though; the <yIHHomvaD> and the
>>> <may'> aren't in a N-N phrase?
>> But that's how you've used it. The first noun modifies the meaning of
>> the second noun. What kind of {may'} "battle" is it? It's a *{yIHHomvaD
>> may'} "minor tribble battle." That's the use of the noun–noun
>> construction, but the first noun isn't allowed a Type 5 suffix.
>> Beneficiaries (and locatives, etc.) only modify verbs.
>> Now, there *are* a couple of phrases on the Bird of Prey poster which do
>> this, and I'm not surprised, given that it started as a list of English
>> noun phrases to be translated. (I have no doubt that Okrand fell into
>> the same trap you did.)
 > I still see them as separate, though... I'm not using one to modify
 > the battle, I'm saying (or trying to) that the battle is to be given
 > over to tribbles, not that a dishonorable battle is a tribble battle.

Oh! Let's see...

    yIHvaD may' 'oH may' quvHa''e'
    As for a dishonorable battle, it is a battle, for the benefit of

This doesn't carry the sense of the battle being "given over to" 
tribbles. It means that a dishonorable is a battle, for the benefit of 
tribbles. The tribbles benefit from the dishonorable being a battle.

My dictionary tells me that "give over" is an informal British phrase 
meaning to stop doing something. I know the phrase, but it doesn't 
spring immediately to my American English-thinking mind. It seems 
idiomatic to me.

Some other ways to say what I think you're trying to say:

    batlhHa' Suv yIH 'e' yIchaw'
    Let tribbles fight a dishonorable battle.

    batlhHa' Suv yIH neH
    Only tribbles fight dishonorably.

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