[tlhIngan Hol] Apollo mission sentence

SuStel sustel at trimboli.name
Wed May 1 13:00:07 PDT 2019

On 5/1/2019 3:38 PM, Will Martin wrote:
> Okay, so count up how many times he’s given an infinitive-like {-meH} 
> verb describing a noun vs. how many times he’s given a verb with 
> {-meH} describing a noun a subject and/or object. It’s certainly a 
> strong trend, if not a law.
> Generally, looking at the use of {-meH} in canon, Okrand often makes a 
> full purpose clause to describe the purpose of the action of a verb, 
> but he nearly always uses a lone verb with {-meH} to give the purpose 
> of a noun.
> Do we act prescriptively or descriptively? Do we take a single 
> counter-example as cause to reverse an observed trend and forget it 
> ever happened?

Don't throw the prescriptivist argument at me, mister "I know what 
Okrand said but it's just ugly." Okrand nearly always uses *-meH* to 
modify verbs (sentences) instead of nouns, so our pool of unambiguous 
examples is too small to declare a trend. But he has used it to modify 
nouns, and in both places he has used it with and without arguments.

What we do is not tell people that they've done something ungrammatical 
when they clearly haven't. If you want to always use "infinite" purpose 
clauses on nouns and never "split" genitive phrases with modifying 
clauses, that's your prerogative, but there's ample evidence out there 
that the rules you're claiming aren't actually rules; they're just 
patterns you're overgeneralizing.


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