[tlhIngan Hol] lawn mower

De'vID de.vid.jonpin at gmail.com
Wed Jul 27 04:28:18 PDT 2016

On 26 July 2016 at 21:30, SuStel <sustel at trimboli.name> wrote:
> On 7/26/2016 3:09 PM, Alan Anderson wrote:
> I, however, believe it means only cutting hair. When words are put in
> parentheses, it means Okrand is disambiguating definitions for us, not
> giving us sample objects because he feels like it. baH is fire (torpedo,
> rocket, missile) to distinguish it from meanings like fire (employee). QIq
> is draw, pull out (weapon, tool, instrument) to keep us from thinking it
> means draw (as on paper) or pull out (military forces). He is even obviously
> not specifying an object in the parentheses in a word like Dan occupy
> (military term). chIp cut, trim (hair) is doing the same thing, telling us
> that this refers to hair-cutting and not other kinds of cutting or trimming.

If this verb refers to hair-cutting, why is "hair" in parentheses? I
agree that the "(hair)" is there to differentiate, but I think you're
being too narrow in interpreting "cut, trim (hair)" to apply only to
hair. The disambiguation isn't between hair-cutting and other kinds of
cutting, it's between the sense of trimming that applies to hair and
the senses that apply to other things (uniforms, sails, etc.).

> If this weren't the case, he wouldn't give us parentheses only for the words
> that can be ambiguous in English. He doesn't give us, for instance, bav
> orbit (planet, nucleus), or ghup swallow (down throat) because these English
> definitions are already unambiguous.

Here, I think there are two senses of the word "cut" that English
doesn't distinguish very well between, but which some other languages
do: (1) to make an incision into something (and possibly to sever it),
and (2) to neaten something by removing parts around its edges or
periphery. That is, there are two senses of the word "cut": to cut
into something, and to cut something which is on or around (i.e., or
decorating, if you will) something else.

It seems fairly straightforward that {pe'} means to cut in the first
sense. To me, {magh yotlh pe'wI'} sounds like something is making a
cut into the lawn, exactly as QeS described.

I read {chIp} "cut, trim (hair)" to mean "cut" in the second sense.

However, I don't see the act of cutting grass as either {pe'} or
{chIp}, but as {yob}. I mean, come on, we have a perfectly good word
which means to separate the top part of a plant from the part that's
in the ground.


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