[tlhIngan Hol] law' puS construction with law'

SuStel sustel at trimboli.name
Wed Oct 11 10:31:15 PDT 2017

On 10/11/2017 12:35 PM, Lieven wrote:
> Am 11.10.2017 um 18:10 schrieb SuStel:
>> I don't see the difference here, either. Using *vItlh* doesn't relate 
>> your sentence to numbers; you're just saying, /that's a lot./ Which 
>> is what *law'* is saying with *'ul law'.*
>> I think the difference, which I just suggested in another message, is 
>> that *vItlh* is more general than *law'**. law' *is only about 
>> quantity, while *vItlh* is about quantity or size or intensity or 
>> whatever it is by which you measure a thing. 
> All of this is just guessing, so no offense, but I see it acutally the 
> opposite: {law'} means "many" without thinking of numbers, while 
> {vItlh} is used when one can expect an answer in numbers or measure 
> the thing you talk about.  Like saying "this thing costs more" or "the 
> price for this is higher".
> I know this sounds very vague as well, and I may be wrong. It seems to 
> me that Okrand has avoided to say {Do law'} "a lot of speed" because 
> both speed are "a lot" already: Speed of sound really is {Do law'}. So 
> he wanted to say that the measured amount of the speed is high. That's 
> different from saying that one is faster than the other. It's saying 
> that the number of the speed is higher - not just saying it's {law'}.

*Do* does not imply /fast/. /Velocity/ is a neutral term.

If *vItlh* is meant to indicate that something is /measured/ to be great 
or high as opposed to /being/ great or high, our definition for it 
completely fails to convey this.

I think Okrand is just more ready to invent new words than he used to 
be, and was about to translate something that sounded awkward, so he 
decided to make up something new. He didn't survey everything he's ever 
written the way we do, searching for other times he talked about 
something being a lot. /Check dictionary—nothing good there—don't 
remember saying anything quite like this—okay, make up something new./

> And yes, you can also measure electricity, I know, but perhaps that 
> was not important when talking about "it consumes a lot of electricty".

Here's another possibility.

If you can imagine a measurable thing as consisting of bits of stuff, 
use *law';* if it can't be imagined as bits of stuff, use *vItlh.* 
Electricity is not exactly literally bits of stuff, but you can imagine 
that it is and you can imagine a pool of it in the device that uses it. 
It has an actual physical location. But you can't imagine velocity as 
stuff; you can't exhaust velocity or move some of it somewhere else; you 
can't point to the part of an object that contains its velocity.


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