[tlhIngan Hol] The prefix trick and indefinite subjects

SuStel sustel at trimboli.name
Sun Dec 23 06:14:00 PST 2018

On 12/22/2018 11:58 PM, Daniel Dadap wrote:
>> On Dec 22, 2018, at 7:56 PM, SuStel <sustel at trimboli.name 
>> <mailto:sustel at trimboli.name>> wrote:
>> On 12/22/2018 9:01 PM, Daniel Dadap wrote:
>>> The original thing I was asking about was part of a relative clause 
>>> so I wanted to simplify the example but I guess I made it too simple 
>>> and omitted an actual indirect object which was the point of the 
>>> prefix trick. The clause was “Sep vIDellu'bogh” which I used in the 
>>> sentence:
>>> pa' Sep'e' jInajtaHvIS vIDellu'bogh tu'lu'
>>> Over there there is a region that was described to me while I was 
>>> dreaming
>>> (There are probably other problems with this sentence; I wasn’t sure 
>>> where to place the jInajtaHvIS, for example, which is also why I 
>>> wanted to simplify the example.)
>> Yes, the *jInajtaHvIS* makes it way too complicated... probably even 
>> without considering the prefix trick. It might make grammatical sense 
>> with the *jInajtaHvIS* between the *pa'* and *Sep'e'* or after the 
>> *vIDellu'bogh,* but at this point I'd be worried about the listener's 
>> ability to parse the nested clauses.
>> If we drop the dreaming bit for now, and show the sentence without 
>> the prefix trick, we have
>>     *pa' jIHvaD Sep Dellu'pu'bogh tu'lu'
>>     */The region which was described to me is thereabouts.
>>     /(Notice that the *-pu'* is required; the describing is already
>>     done.)
> I know the dreaming part has been removed for simplicity here, but can 
> the frame of reference not be the dream? In the context of the dream, 
> if you’re thinking of the -taHvIS part, the describing isn’t 
> necessarily completed.
> I suppose -pu’ captures the “once” meaning from the original sentence 
> I was aiming for: “there’s a land that I dreamed of once in a lullaby”.

The frame of reference for this sentence, that is, the viewpoint from 
which it is being spoken, is after the describing is completed, but 
while the region is still thereabouts. That's what makes *Del* need a 
*-pu'.* Being thereabouts is not a completed action.

>> I don't see why the prefix trick wouldn't work here, again with the 
>> caveat that we've never seen the prefix trick on a verb with an 
>> indefinite subject:
>>     *pa' Sep vIDellu'pu'bogh tu'lu'
>>     */The region which was described to me is thereabouts./
>> If I had to put the dreaming back in, and if I had to keep it all in 
>> one sentence, I'd probably do it like this:
>>     *pa' Sep vIDellu'pu'bogh jInajtaHvIS tu'lu'
>>     */The region which was described to me while I was dreaming is
>>     thereabouts./
> Yeah, two sentences would obviously have been easier. My two sentence 
> version of this was: “jInajtaHvIS Sep vIDellu’; pa’ Sepvam tu’lu’.”

With the exception of needing *-pu'* on *vIDellu',* this is much easier 
to follow.

> Anyway, if a -taHvISed verb isn’t a time stamp, that’s good to know. 
> And I guess it isn’t, because when you add an object, something like 
> “jIHaghqu'taH paqvetlh vIlaDtaHvIS” doesn’t sound wrong.

Dependent clauses using *-DI', -vIS, -chugh, -pa',* and *-mo'* can go 
either before the main clause or after it.

Dependent clauses can describe a time, but they're not the sort of "time 
expression" being referred to by TKD. What that means is a grammatically 
unmarked phrase referring to the time.

For example, from TKD:

    *cha yIbaH qara'DI'
    qara'DI' cha yIbaH
    */Fire the torpedoes at my command!/


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