[tlhIngan Hol] Pronouns for irregular plurals

Steven Boozer sboozer at uchicago.edu
Tue Aug 27 06:31:53 PDT 2019

(TKD 3.3.2):  Inherently plural nouns are treated grammatically as singular nouns in that singular pronouns are used to refer to them (sections 4.1, 5.1).  For example, in the sentence {cha yIghuS} “Stand by torpedoes!” or “Get the torpedoes ready to be fired!” the verb prefix {yI-}, an imperative prefix used for singular objects, must be used even though the object ({cha} “torpedoes”) has a plural meaning.
(KGT 33-34):  Inherently plural nouns are considered singular as far as how they fit into the overall grammatical structure. Thus, the singular pronoun {'oH} (it) is used for both {jengva'} (plate) and {ngop} (plates) in sentences such as {nuqDaq 'oH jengva''e'?} (“Where is the plate?”) and {nuqDaq 'oH ngop'e'?} (“Where are the plates?”).  Children, however, tend to use the plural pronoun {bIH} (they) with {ngop} (as well as with {jengva'mey} and the redundantly suffixed {ngopmey}):  {nuqDaq bIH ngop'e'?} (“Where are the plates?”).
(KGT 178):  {Hochlogh no' yIquvmoH} ("All times honor your ancestors"; {no'}, "ancestors"; {yIquvmoH}, “Honor them!” [actually, this is “Honor him/her!”; the inherently plural noun {no'}, “ancestors”, takes a singular pronoun] ); compare {reH no' yIquvmoH} ("Always honor your ancestors").

Ca'Non Master of the Klingons

FROM: Hugh Son puqloD
On Aug 26, 2019, at 21:53, De'vID <de.vid.jonpin at gmail.com<mailto:de.vid.jonpin at gmail.com>> wrote:

these seem downright weird:

{nuqDaq 'oH ngop'e'?}
{'Iv ghaH no'ra''e'?}
{cha 'oH'a'?}
{negh ghaHlaw'.}

Do we have canonical evidence of pronouns used to stand in for irregular plural nouns?

{nuqDaq 'oH ngop'e'} is given as an example in KGT on p.33 where the grammar of inherently plural nouns is explained. Those sentences are grammatically correct.

Sigh. Once again I ask a question that’s answered in KGT, and amusingly this time I even made up an example that is identical to a canonical example that answers my question.

I clearly need to repeatedly read KGT until I don’t ask questions like that any more. Maybe I’ll sleep with it under my pillow tonight.

For some reason, the examples with {ghaH} strike me as even weirder than the ones with {'oH}. But if we do use {'oH} for {ngop}, I can’t justify using {chaH} for {no'}.
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