[tlhIngan Hol] -lI': intentional or not?

SuStel sustel at trimboli.name
Sat Feb 25 11:36:12 PST 2017

There was a discussion on Facebook about whether *-lI'* needs to be 
intentional progress or not. I'm curious what other list members think.

The question: does the verb suffix *-lI'* imply that an agent 
intentionally set up an end to a process?

The arguments in favor:

  * TKD p. 43 says "*-lI'*, on the other hand, can be used only when
    there is an implied goal." If something has a goal, someone must
    have set the process in motion toward that goal.
  * There are no canonical examples of *-lI'* being used where an agent
    hasn't set the process in motion toward the goal.
  * TKD p. 43 says "It is possible to consider *-lI'* a /continuous/
    counterpart of *-ta',* and *-taH* a /continuous/ counterpart of
    *-pu'.*" The difference between *-pu'* and *-ta'* is that the latter
    implies intentionality, so the difference between *-taH* and *-lI'*
    is also that the latter implies intentionality.

The arguments against:

  * TKD p. 42 says "Unlike *-taH,* however, *-lI'* implies that the
    activity has a known goal or a definite stopping point." A definite
    stopping point is mentioned as an alternative to a known goal, and
    such does not imply intentional agency.
  * The example of *vIlI'lI'* on TKD p. 42 says "This word implies that
    data are in the process of being transmitted, but that there is a
    finite amount of data, so there will be a definite end to the
    transmission." This explanation does not reference the transmitter's
    goal in sending data, only the known end of transmission when there
    is no more data. The sender may have had a goal, but the explanation
    this word doesn't mention that.
  * There are so few canonical examples of *-lI'* that lacking examples
    of non-intentional progress is not surprising.

The arguments in favor say that a sentence like *pumlI' nagh* to refer 
to a stone that is falling to the ground due to, say, a landslide, is 


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