tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Thu Nov 26 16:54:47 2009

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Re: The topic marker -'e'

Christopher Doty (

I guess we just might have to agree to disagree, then, because the 'urgent message for commander krage' example makes it pretty clear to mean that -vaD has nothing to do with verbs (except when it makes an indirect object). There's no reason, so far as I can tell, to assume that you have to have a verb when you use -vaD... 
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David Trimboli wrote:

Steven Lytle wrote:

> On Thu, Nov 26, 2009 at 6:56 PM, David Trimboli <>

> wrote:


>> Steven Lytle wrote:

>>> I think part of the problem in following this conversation is

>>> that in

>> X-vaD

>>> Y, the X-vaD is never (supposed to be) a noun-noun construction,

>>> yet it's being called this over and over.

>> The question is whether {X-vaD Y} is a single noun phrase. If it

>> is, it would have to be a noun-noun construction, because there is

>> no other kind of noun phrase it could be. But it *can't* be a

>> noun-noun construction, because {-vaD} is not allowed on the first

>> noun. So is it really a noun phrase at all?


>> X-vaD Y Verb


>> Is X the beneficiary of Y or the beneficiary of Verb? TKD says it's

>> the beneficiary of Verb.


> Exactly. But it's still being *called* a noun-noun construction, and

> it shouldn't be, because it isn't.

I agree. But the problem has been that when I say it's an illegal 

noun-noun construction, Christopher has been focusing on the "noun-noun 

construction" part and not the "illegal" part. I think he's thinking 

that the phrase itself is a perfectly valid noun phrase, but can't be 

called a noun-noun construction because of the {-vaD} on the first noun. 

This is incorrect: it's NOT a valid noun phrase, BECAUSE it would be an 

illegal noun-noun construction, so it simply can't be used. These nouns 

might appear next to each other if each is related to the VERB and not 

to each other, but he's been using sentences without main verbs, so 

there's no verb to relate the nouns to.



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