tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Wed Sep 16 06:09:16 2009

Back to archive top level

To this year's listing

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next]

RE: nom*i*nal*ize 2. to convert (an underlying clause) into a noun phrase

Agnieszka Solska ( [KLI Member] [Hol po'wI']


> Any ideas on whether it could be used together with {-ghach} to create nouns
> expressing something like "the process or act of doing something" or "the state of
> being something, e.g.:
> ?Doghlu'ghach  - "foolishness, (the state of) being foolish"

jang SuStel:
> I think these are flat-out wrong, for the same reason you wouldn't say 
> *{bItlhutlhtaHghach}. {-lu'} has to do with the agent of the verb, but 
> the verb doesn't seem to be fully conjugated before {-ghach} is added to it.

Thanks, SuStel, for your response, especially for pointing out that verbs with 
{-lu'} and verbs with prefixes have to do with the agent of the verb, and therefore 
might be subject to the same restrictions. 

However, based on what MO said in the interview on {-ghach} in HolQeD 3.3:10-13, 
I see no reason why {prefix-verb-suffix-ghach} forms (and possibly {verb-lu'-ghach} 
forms too) should be regarded as "flat-out wrong." After all, Okrand merely calls 
them "weird". This might be interpreted as understatement for "wrong" except 
that Okrand [HolQeD 3.3:13] actually says that they are not unheard of:

> just as bare stem + {-ghach} is okay, but weird, prefix + verb (with or  
> without a suffix) + {-ghach} is even weirder. But not unheard of (?)

The conclusion I draw from this is that, say, {qaleghpu'ghach} is not part of 
the regular use of language but would not be out of place in a context 
calling for the so-called "nonce word," i.e. "a word coined and used apparently 
to suit one particular occasion" (Encyclopedia Britannica). This might typically 
happen when writing or translating a literary work. On encountering 

   "the wagon beginning to fall into its slow and *mileconsuming* clatter" 
   (William Faulkner)


    "She gave me a you-can-go-to-hell-for-all-I-care sort of look" 
    (Ira Levin)

the reader might, to use Okrand's words, "look up and say "huh?" but know 
exactly what was meant. It's following the rules, but it's following them into a place 
they don't normally go."  [HolQeD 3.3:13] 

Granted, Okrand says nothing about {verb-lu'-ghach} forms. However, based on 
their meaning and form I see no reason why anyone should be precluded from using 
them for a single specific occasion. Like any nonce word, such words "although [not to be] 
found in any dictionary, [would be] instantly comprehensible." ("Nonce word," Wikipedia) 

I'd like to add that having the potential for creating nonce words makes our invented language 
a little more like a natural language.


Share your memories online with anyone you want.ÿ;

Back to archive top level