tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Thu Oct 01 04:32:36 2009

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Re: The meaning of -moH

ghunchu'wI' (

On Sep 30, 2009, at 8:22 PM, David Trimboli wrote:

> However, this means we have an odd situation: verbs like {tuH} "be
> ashamed" should not be able to take objects, yet verbs like {tuHmoH}
> "shame" certainly are able to do so. Why do verbs of quality seem to
> change the semantic role of the object while verbs of action do  
> not? Or
> do verbs of action change the semantic role of the object *sometimes*?
> When?

I propose that they *never* change the semantic role of the object.   
Under this view, {tuHmoH} doesn't actually have an object.  It's just  
a version of the "prefix trick" at work, making it *look* like the  
beneficiary is the grammatical object.

Explicit examples of the prefix trick all have a grammatical mismatch  
between the prefix and the apparent object.  Many of our examples of  
{-moH} on a verb expressing a state or quality appear not to, though  
this might be difficult to pin down due to the lack of morphological  
distinction between the various meanings of the null prefix. :-)

> (For instance, under this hypothesis, what is the correct object
> of {ghojmoH}?)

With my proposal, the correct object is the thing being learned.  If  
that thing is not mentioned, the student as beneficiary might be able  
to appear to be the object.

-- ghunchu'wI'

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