tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Tue Oct 06 15:03:19 2009

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Re: The meaning of -moH

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

Brent Kesler wrote:
> Reading this debate reminds me of valency, the number of arguments a
> verb can have. There are two types of arguments: core arguments, such
> as the object and the subject, and peripheral arguments, which are
> usually marked by a preposition or affix. In Klingon, peripheral
> arguments are marked by -Daq, -vaD, and maybe -'e' (but that's a
> different debate).

Having only read this far, I already know where you're going with this...

> Some verbs are monovalent (one argument):
> 1. tuH yaS
> - The officer is ashamed.

But is it monovalent because of some syntactic rule, or is it monovalent 
because of some semantic rule? The evidence suggests that there is 
nothing *syntactically* wrong with saying {puq tuH yaS}; it just doesn't 
make any *semantic* sense. There is no list of verbs wherein, when you 
don't know their meanings, you can still declare that they don't take an 
object. When you add {-moH} you're not changing the fundamental syntax 
of the sentence; you're just adding a meaning that lets an object make 
semantic sense.

> The problem with applying the causative to transitive verbs is that we
> end up with three arguments with only two core slots to put them in,
> so we have to resort to a non-core marking, {-vaD}, for one of them.

We're not "resorting" to anything. The {-vaD} noun of, say, {ghojmoH} 
"cause to learn" is the legitimate beneficiary or recipient of the 
causing to learn. It never would have been a core argument.

tlhIngan Hol MUSH

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