[tlhIngan Hol] difference between -meH and -wI' in purpose-clause compound nouns

SuStel sustel at trimboli.name
Thu Jun 1 09:02:12 PDT 2017

On 6/1/2017 4:45 AM, Lieven wrote:
> first of all, how would you linguistically call that what I am talking 
> about?

In your subject, you call these things "purpose-clause compound nouns." 
Strictly speaking, none of these are compound nouns, which in TKD are 
individual words consisting of multiple nouns. All of your examples may 
be described as noun phrases, but you can't get more specific when 
describing all of them. They break down into purpose clauses and 
genitive phrases.

> I have noticed that some words are translated like {pe'meH taj} 
> "cutting knife", while others use -wI': {toSwI' qal'aq} "jungle gym".
> And then, sometimes I wondered, why -wI' and not -meH?
> Of course, all phrases make sense in both ways, but is there a 
> difference? Why is it not {toSmeH qal'aq} "structure for climbing"? 
> Why say {chevwI' tlhoy'} and not {chevmeH tlhoy'} for "territiorial 
> wall"?
> "suntan lotion" is translated as {DIr QanwI' taS} - why not {DIr 
> QanmeH taS}?
> What do you think about that?

I think it's arbitrary, and you just have to learn which way it's said. 
I also think you wouldn't be particularly wrong if you said *chevmeH 
tlhoy'* instead of *chevwI' tlhoy',* for example. It would be like the 
difference between /border wall/ and /wall of the border:/ one is said 
and the other isn't, but the other is still perfectly understandable.

> Next, I think there is also a difference between combinations where 
> the meH-ed verb directly influences the noun (pe'meH taj means that 
> the knife is for cutting) while other situations are just real 
> noun-noun combinations (as in {nISwI' DaH} which is a "array of 
> disruptors" and not a "array to disrupt").
> I'm just lacking the right terms to say what I think, so maybe you can 
> clarify. 

Genitive is a broad concept, and Klingon noun-nouns seem to embrace that 
breadth. You seem to be sensing sub-types of genitive. Here's a page 
that breaks down various types that appear in Latin: 
<http://www.csun.edu/~hcfll004/genitive.html>. Klingon grammar treats 
them all the same.


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