[tlhIngan Hol] The problem of the same word being both a verb and a noun

De'vID de.vid.jonpin at gmail.com
Mon Nov 19 13:40:06 PST 2018

On Mon, 19 Nov 2018 at 17:41, mayqel qunenoS <mihkoun at gmail.com> wrote:

> Often, while writing, I come across the problem of having to use a word
> which exists both as a verb and a noun, e.g. {choH} (v) change, {choH} (n)
> change.

This isn't a good example, since the verb takes a subject and an object, so
it's clear based on the surrounding words whether {choH} has to be a noun
or a verb.

A much better class of examples are adjectival verbs which are also nouns,
since then it becomes unclear whether something is a noun-noun construction
or a noun followed by an adjectival verb. For example, does {Sep Hol Sar}
mean "a regional language variety" (i.e., a regional dialect), or "various
regional languages"?

And the problem being, making absolutely certain that the reader will
> immediately understand that it is e.g. the noun that I use and not the
> verb, or vice versa.
> And recently I found the solution of adding a verb or noun suffix,
> depending on the situation.
> For example, instead of writing {qa'Daj choH} for "the change of his
> spirit", writing {qa'Daj choHna'} "the definite change of his spirit".
> Or, instead of {qa'Daj choH} for "it changes his spirit", saying {qa'Daj
> choHba'} "it obviously changes his spirit".

But that changes the meaning. There's no possibility of {qa'Daj choH} being
confused in any case, since by itself, it's a sentence (so {choH} must be a
verb). If you meant the noun phrase, then it's not a complete sentence, so
there must be another verb, e.g., {qa'Daj choH vIbejtaH}. One possibility
for confusion is a verb which takes a sentence as an object without {'e'},
of which we know only one: {neH}. So {choH vIneH} can mean "I want the
change" or "I want that it changes". But I can't see any context which
isn't artificial in which such a confusion might happen.

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