tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Wed Nov 25 17:38:37 2009

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Re: The topic marker -'e'

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

Steven Lytle wrote:
> On Wed, Nov 25, 2009 at 7:52 PM, Christopher Doty
> <>wrote:
>>> I don't think I've ever seen that example.
>> ...
>>> I am also convinced that Okrand simply forgot that the rules in
>>> TKD forbid this sort of thing.
>> Can you tell me what rule this is?  I'm still not following.  I
>> know that there is a rule that suffixes can't go on the first noun
>> in a N-N construction, but I haven't seen a rule that says all
>> noun-noun sequences are automatically noun-noun constructions...
> Another common example of two nouns next to each other that are not
> in a noun-noun construction is all the cases of nouns joined by a
> conjunction, e.g., {vav SoS je].

Where a noun conjunction is absent, this cannot be the explanation.

Where there *is* a conjunction, each noun or noun phrase being joined 
has equal status with the others, and has the same role in the sentence.

My point has not been that two nouns next to each other have to form a 
noun-noun construction. It is that when one noun modifies another noun, 
rather than a verb, those nouns must be in a noun-noun construction. 
Since the first noun of a noun-noun construction cannot have a syntactic 
marker on it, sentences where you see a syntactically marked noun 
followed by another noun cannot be interpreted as the first modifying 
the second; the marked noun can only be interpreted as modifying or 
acting in relation to the verb.

tlhIngan Hol MUSH

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