[tlhIngan Hol] yuQ Suv Duj 'ar or yuQ luSuv Duj 'ar ?

De'vID de.vid.jonpin at gmail.com
Wed Feb 19 03:49:06 PST 2020

On Tue, 18 Feb 2020 at 18:17, Will Martin <willmartin2 at mac.com> wrote:

> On Feb 10, 2020, at 8:04 AM, mayqel qunen'oS <mihkoun at gmail.com> wrote:
> This must be pretty straightforward, but I'll ask anyway.
> Recently, we'd been given the following examples, with regards to how
> the construction {noun 'ar}, is to be treated, i.e. singular or
> plural.
> Duj 'ar DIlegh ?
> bIQ 'ar wIlegh ?
> So, if the questioned object is countable, then we use a plural prefix.
> But does the opposite apply too ?
> If we have a questioned subject which is countable, then do we again
> use a plural prefix ?
> Should one say {yuQ Suv Duj 'ar} or {yuQ luSuv Duj 'ar} ?
> I'm pretty sure it must be {yuQ luSuv Duj 'ar}, but I'd like to make
> certain.It doesn’t look like anyone has answered this, so… I’ll give you an
> answer more interesting than most people want me to.
> We can’t be certain whether we should say {yuQ Suv Duj ‘ar} or {yup luSuv
> Duj ‘ar}. Your approach (including {lu-}) is reasonable and would be
> acceptable to those we know who speak the language. No one would correct
> you with any authority. If anyone had an authoritative answer, they would
> have given it by now. Eight days passed, and nobody replied.

I don't know about others but the reason *I* didn't reply to this is
because I thought the answer is clear. Okrand was asked, "Which prefix
should be used to refer to a questioned noun with {'ar}? How should I
translate "How many ships do we see?" His answer was:

--- begin quote ---
Plural if the questioned noun can be singular or plural (it lacks a plural
suffix) and the translation is “how many?”; singular if the questioned noun
is something that can’t be counted and the translation is “how much?” So
{Duj ’ar DIlegh?} “How many ships do we see?” {bIQ ’ar wIlegh?} “How much
water do we see?”
--- end quote ---

He was asked to translate an example where the questioned noun *happens to
be* in the object position, but his answer doesn't depend on this. It
applies whether the noun is in the object or the subject position. The
correct grammar is {yuQ luSuv Duj 'ar}.

(However, I'm not sure ships can "fight" a planet, unless that planet is
Unicron or the Death Star. For most normal planets, I'd use {HIv} instead.
But knowing you, you probably *are* thinking of the Death Star.)

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