[tlhIngan Hol] Relevance of language ability to third person singular pronouns

SuStel sustel at trimboli.name
Fri Sep 7 15:49:03 PDT 2018

On 9/7/2018 5:49 PM, Daniel Dadap wrote:
> I had always thought that the distinction between {'oH} and {ghaH} was the same as the distinction between {bIH} and {chaH}, i.e., that {ghaH} is reserved for beings capable of language. It would seem natural that the singular and plural third-person pronouns would be divided up the same way, but it was recently pointed out to me that TKD never actually says that {‘oH} is for things and beings that are incapable of languages, or that {ghaH} is exclusively for language-capable beings. But just because that would seem natural doesn’t mean that it is so.

It's an interesting observation. If correct, what's the difference 
between *ghaH* and *'oH?

To support the idea, you need to find somewhere in canon that uses 
*ghaH* or *'oH* in a way that shows that difference: some being capable 
of using language being referred to as *'oH,* or something not a being 
capable of using language being referred to as *ghaH.*

Personally, I think Okrand just assumed that the difference between /it/ 
and /he/she/him/her/ showed up the difference well enough. It's the fact 
that English /they/them/ can cover plural /it/ as well as 
/he/she/him/her/ that warrants special mention of the difference between 
*bIH* and *chaH,* not the exclusivity of the capable-of-using-language 
status of the words.


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