[tlhIngan Hol] qepHom grammar questions

nIqolay Q niqolay0 at gmail.com
Thu Oct 5 14:20:26 PDT 2017

On Thu, Oct 5, 2017 at 1:51 PM, SuStel <sustel at trimboli.name> wrote:

> *bangwI', SoHvaD wa'SaD SuvwI' vIHoHqang *
> *SoHvaD* is not an indirect object; it is a benefactive. Now I wish I
> hadn't suggested the "happen to" test to you, because you're totally
> misapplying and misunderstanding it. The sentence is not about your beloved
> receiving a presentation involving killing; it is only about your
> willingness to kill, and your beloved is the one who will benefit from it.
Is it the *-qang* suffix that's the problem, then?
Does *yaSvaD taj nobqang qama' *not have an indirect object now, because
the giving is only potential and might not actually happen?
And would *bangwI', SoHvaD wa'SaD SuvwI' vIHoHta' *now have an indirect
object, because the killing has happened in reality and my beloved (the
"you" being addressed) has received some sign of devotion from that?
In* bangwI',* *SoHvaD wa'SaD SuvwI' vIHoHqang*, are the warriors not really
a direct object, because they only exist hypothetically and therefore
nothing is directly happening to them? Am I not a subject because I haven't
actually done any killing yet? Where's the dividing line between semantic
and syntactic role here?

You didn't give anything to your beloved; your beloved isn't described as
> receiving speech or an image or a thing. That she is addressed in the
> sentence is irrelevant; it has nothing to do with indirect objects or
> benefactives.

Receiving things is not how Okrand describes the role of the indirect
object. That's a definition you introduced, not a universally-accepted one.
Okrand doesn't talk about what he means specifically by "indirect object"
at all, only that it can be considered a beneficiary of the action, which
does not imply that his definition is as specific and narrow as the one
you're using.

(Also, to clarify: I just now realized that part of the confusion might be
because I'm using "my beloved" to refer to the *SoH* in *SoHvaD*. Since my
beloved is the one being addressed, *SoH* and *bangwI'* would refer to the
same person, but the semantic identity doesn't mean they're grammatically
in the same role. I do understand that the actual noun *bangwI'* is
grammatically a term of address and not even potentially an indirect
object. *HIvqa' veqlargh.*)

> *jIHvaD qab tera'ngan Soj 'Iq* - "I admit that using the prefix trick
> with a stative verb might be too much of a stretch."
> Why? If there's no difference between types of *-vaD,* what could
> possibly be wrong with it? *What distinction between that and known good
> examples are you making?*
The difference is that stative verbs never have direct objects, whereas the
definition of the prefix trick mentions third-person direct objects
specifically, and the known examples of the prefix trick include at least
an implied direct object. This struck me as a potentially significant
difference. My concern has nothing to do with* -vaD*.

> The reason to think that is that Okrand describes the prefix trick for
> "indirect objects," not for beneficiaries, not for benefactives, not for
> any noun with *-vaD.* "Indirect objects." I see no reason to think he
> uses the term "indirect object" to refer to any kind of *-vaD* noun.
Every time he's talked about the role of *-vaD *nouns since TKDa, he's
talked about them as indirect objects, which suggests that either he's
completely forgotten about the idea that* -vaD* nouns can be beneficiaries,
or that he is using the term "indirect object" in the non-technical
English-class-level sense that includes beneficiaries. The latter makes
much more sense to me.

> But why? Why would he add to the Addendum a whole section unto itself
> called "Indirect Objects" if these were just a new name for the familiar
> *-vaD*? There are sooo many areas that are left vague in TKD, and this is
> the only one he thought he'd just give a couple of examples, to be helpful?
> Every single other section of the Addendum adds something new, something
> previously unknown or not explained correctly. In this one section he's
> going to elaborate on something he'd already explained, but maybe you
> didn't notice all the possibilities because he didn't use a particular
> phrase? Really?
Why not? You said so yourself: "The Addendum is all about new stuff that
got added *or clarified* since the first edition." If it had occured to him
after TKD was written that he wanted to clarify or define this more
precisely, where else would he put it? I don't think the section labeling
of the addendum is intended as a strict arrangement of linguistic concepts.

There are a lot of things he could have given more examples for, I agree.
But "indirect object" is a pretty basic concept of English syntax that is
not obviously addressed in the first edition of TKD, and he may have wanted
to talk about it specifically. Maybe someone bugged him about it. I can't
speak to what Okrand was thinking 30-some-odd years ago, but I don't think
any major conclusions should be drawn based on what got included in the
addendum and how it was arranged.

In any case, I'm not sure this discussion is going to get anywhere just
relying on our own interpretations of Okrand's use of terminology, since we
don't accept each other's interpretations. So I've revised my questions to
be more specific about the issues brought up here, and hopefully they can
be run by Maltz at some point:

1) When you talk about "indirect objects" (for instance, when talking about
the prefix trick), are you using it to mean all nouns with the *-vaD*
suffix? Or are there uses of *-vaD* that you don't count as indirect
objects (and therefore can't be used with the prefix trick)? If the latter
is true, what is your definition for when a noun with *-vaD* is or isn't an
indirect object?

2) Can be the prefix trick be used in all situations with indirect objects
(however those turn out to be defined)? Or are there exceptions? Are there
certain verbs that can never take it? Is its use limited to a small subset
of verbs?

3) Can the prefix trick be used with stative verbs that have a *-vaD* noun
with them? For instance, is it acceptable to turn the phrase *jIHvaD lI'
De'vam* *"This information is useful for me"* into *mulI' De'vam*? If not,
is it because the *-vaD* noun doesn't count as an indirect object when used
with stative verbs, or because the prefix trick needs direct objects which
stative verbs can't have, or because of some other reason?

(And to tie in a question from the other thread about subtitles:)
4) Is the prefix trick still strictly limited to 1st/2nd-person indirect
objects with 3rd-person direct objects, as it was first described? If
someone uses it with a different arrangement of persons in a way that's not
confusing, is this acceptable, or is this considered "intentional
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