tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Fri Nov 27 16:56:40 2009

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Re: Checking understanding of -be'

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

Christopher Doty wrote:

>>> If we were talking about something that wasn't seen by anyone (see,
>>> maybe, something "unseeable" like <qa'>), one might instead say:
>>> leghlu'be'
>>> "It isn't seen/one doesn't see it (maybe loosely even 'it is invisible')"
>>> Is this "correct" use of <-be'>?
>> We have a couple of examples of {-be'lu'} and {-lu'be'} (I'm sure Voragh
>> can provide them), but I don't think we have any real evidence to
>> conclude that one talks about failure to do something and another talks
>> about inability to do something. With what we know now, I'd be inclined
>> to accept {-be'lu'} and {-lu'be'} as meaning the same thing, while I
>> tend to use {-be'lu'} barring any further discoveries.
> I guess I didn't really mean anything about ability here (especially
> since <-lu'> and <-laH> can't occur on the same verb), so my English
> translation is bad.  Perhaps more to my point would have been
> something like.
> wIleghlu'be'
> "No one sees us (not anyone at all)"
> As opposed to
> wIleghbe'lu'
> "Someone doesn't see us (but maybe others do)"

There is no indication anywhere that {-lu'be'} means "not anyone at all" 
or "no one." There is a word for "no one": {pagh}. So far as anyone has 
been able to tell, that I can remember, {-be'lu'} and {-lu'be'} are 
interchangeable. This is why I called it exceptional.

A survey of all uses of {-be'lu'} and {-lu'be'} would be useful. This 
has been done in the past, but I don't remember when, or if it turned up 
anything interesting.

tlhIngan Hol MUSH

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