[tlhIngan Hol] placing {-lu'} on {'oH} and {ghaH}

SuStel sustel at trimboli.name
Sun Jul 7 14:15:51 PDT 2019

On 7/7/2019 4:31 PM, De'vID wrote:
> On Fri, 5 Jul 2019 at 21:24, SuStel <sustel at trimboli.name 
> <mailto:sustel at trimboli.name>> wrote:
>     On 7/5/2019 1:14 PM, De'vID wrote:
>>     On Fri, 5 Jul 2019 at 17:15, mayqel qunen'oS <mihkoun at gmail.com
>>     <mailto:mihkoun at gmail.com>> wrote:
>>         There's something, which feels strange seeing/reading the
>>         {ghaHlu'}, but I can't find what it actually is.
>>     I think this is impossible, because {-lu'} works with the
>>     pronominal prefixes, and pronouns never take prefixes.
>     Prefixes aren't inherent to the job that *-lu'* plays. Using
>     *-lu'* simply makes you use /different/ prefixes.
> If something never takes prefixes to begin with, how can it ever take 
> different prefixes?

I'm speaking here of how *-lu'* works generally, not how *-lu'* works on 
pronouns. You said that *-lu'* "works with" prefixes, but *-lu'* doesn't 
work with prefixes any more than any non-*lu'* verb. It just uses 
/different/ prefixes. So citing some required functional link between 
*-lu'* and verbs to show that prefixless pronouns can't use *-lu'* 
doesn't make any sense.

> That's the problem I have with trying to interpret something like 
> {ghaHlu'}.

*ghaHlu'* is meaningless all by itself, just as *ghaHtaH* is meaningless 
all by itself. Pronouns do not carry the "to be" meaning by themselves; 
it is only their juxtaposition with nouns that makes the "to be" meaning 
come out.

>     The sentence *Daqawlu'taH*/you will be remembered/ is simply a
>     pronoun-elided version of *SoH Daqawlu'taH.* The prefix doesn't
>     make the indefinite subject work; it simply agrees in a different
>     way than sentences with subjects. All the *-lu'* really means is
>     "no subject here."
> I don't see what this has to do with pronouns. We know how {-lu'} 
> works with (normal) verbs.

We clearly don't all know, since Lieven claimed that *-lu'* "reverse the 
object-subject." My point is to show that the subject and object aren't 
"in" the prefix; the prefix simply agrees with them. The subject and/or 
object may be an elided pronoun, and the only way we know what they are 
is by the prefix, but the prefix is still not the source of the subject 
and object of the sentence, it just agrees with them.

>     I can't see any problem with using *-lu'* with the third-person
>     pronouns. First- and second-person pronoun "to be" sentences use
>     the pronoun itself as the subject; third-person "to be" sentences
>     can take third-person nouns as their subjects. *verengan
>     ghaHlu'chugh, qurlu'ba'*/If one is a Ferengi, one is obviously
>     greedy./ This is just the no-subject equivalent to *verengan
>     ghaHchugh vay''e', qurba' vay'vetlh.*
> But you do see a problem with using {-lu'} with {jIH} and {SoH}. "I, 
> who am indefinite, am..." would be a weird thing to say (outside of 
> maybe a philosophical work).
> I think this extends to {ghaHlu'} as well. I read {ghaHlu'} as 
> something self-contradictory, like "he or she, who is indefinite, 
> is...". I understand your interpretation, but I don't see any reason 
> to think third-person works any differently than first- or second-person.

*ghaHlu'* doesn't work by itself. *ghaH* can't act like a verb all by 
itself. *ghaH* is not a complete sentence. But there's no semantic 
reason why *SuvwI' ghaHlu'*/one is a warrior/ couldn't work. *SuvwI'* is 
being linked by identity to an indefinite entity.

As for why it's different than first- or second-person, consider why you 
can't say *tlhIngan jIH HoD'e'.* The <noun> <pronoun> <topic>'e' formula 
only works for third-person pronouns. TKD explains: "If the subject is a 
noun, it follows the third-person pronoun..." With first- or 
second-person sentences, the subject is the pronoun, not a noun. *-lu'* 
replaces a subject noun with an indefinite subject. So it only works 
where there already is a subject noun to replace. That's the topic noun 
in a third-person "to be" sentence.

That's why it works differently in the first or second person.


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