[tlhIngan Hol] What do you make of this ?

SuStel sustel at trimboli.name
Wed Nov 23 06:13:02 PST 2016

On 11/23/2016 6:25 AM, mayqel qunenoS wrote:
> jIH:
>> SorDaq vIghro' law' law', chalDaq bo'Degh law' puS
> SuStel
>> No. You've left out the {vIleghbogh}.
> There is something here I don't understand.
> If we say {vIghro' law' law', bo'Degh law' puS}, then this means "the
> cats are more numerous than the birds". Why can't we just place a noun
> with a {-Daq} in front of the {vIghro'} and {bo'Degh}, with the
> sentence acquiring the meaning "at that place the cats are more, than
> the birds that are at that (the other place)" ?

Because the comparative structure does not include nouns with *-Daq*.

The structure is "A Q *law'* B Q *puS*," where A and B are noun phrases. 
Except for the specific changes given to us by Okrand, this structure is 
invariable. It is not "X*Daq* A Q *law'* Y*Daq* B Q *puS*."

Now, noun phrases can include nouns with *-Daq.* For instance, *SorDaq 
vIghro' vIleghbogh*/cat which I see in a tree./ But **SorDaq vIghro'* is 
not a noun phrase. It does not mean /cat in a tree/ because the rules of 
noun-noun constructions do not allow us to put a type 5 noun suffix on 
any but the final noun.

So if you want the individual parts of a comparative sentence to refer 
to different places, you're going to have to do so with noun phrases. 
These can be very sophisticated:

*SorDaq bIHtaHbogh vIghro''e' law' law' chalDaq bIHtaHbogh bo'Degh'e' 
law' puS
*/there are more cats in the tree than birds in the sky/

Alternatively, depending on your emphasis, you can abandon the 
comparative construct altogether:

*SorDaq law' vIghro'; chalDaq puS bo'Degh
*/there are many cats in the tree; there are few birds in the sky/*

There is**one exception to the invariability of the comparative 
construction that I can think of:

*QamvIS Hegh QaQ law' torvIS yIn QaQ puS
*/Better to die on our feet than live on our knees./ (STVI and TKW)

This sentence is a disaster on many levels, and Okrand even points out 
in TKW that it is ungrammatical, though he only discusses the *-vIS* 
lacking a *-taH.* But by all the rules we know, **QamtaHvIS Hegh* and 
**tortaHvIS yIn *are not real relative clauses. Can you insert *-vIS* 
clauses into the comparative formula like that? We don't know. Nothing 
backs this sentence up.


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