[tlhIngan Hol] using {Hoch} after a noun with an adjective

Will Martin willmartin2 at mac.com
Tue Jan 14 08:17:00 PST 2020

Please trust that I’m not posting this in order to challenge SuStel or offend mayqel by dodging his question. This is a list, not just a place where one person asks a question and gets an answer. Different people have different reasons for reading it. SuStel answered mayqel’s question. I’m adding an option for others on the list who might be more interested in how to uncontroversially express something like this, without the focus on this particular mechanic of grammar.

I think SuStel’s analysis is perfectly rational and probably correct, though we probably don’t have specific canon to be 100% sure that {Hoch} works like this when combined with a noun with a verb used adjectivally. I’d probably replace “all-ness” with “whole” for clarity in the English explanation, since it’s a more commonly used English word that means the same thing, but “all-ness” works just fine. 

The TKD gloss doesn’t contain either “whole” or “all-ness” and boQwI’ offers no canon examples of {Hoch} following another noun. I think I remember that Okrand’s explanation of how {Hoch} works when following a noun used the word “whole”, but my memory is imperfect, net Sov.

If you want to be 100% safe against Okrand later surprising us by invalidating this very reasonable interpretation of what {Hoch} does when combined with an adjective, you can dodge the entire issue by using the adjective as a verb with {-bogh}, as in {tInbogh chab Hoch}. 

Okrand has used this mechanism for expressing adjectives in the past to avoid overloading grammatical constructions he prefers to keep simple, like using multiple adjectives on the same noun, and to some extent, {Hoch} following a noun is very nearly behaving like an adjective. It’s behaving like an adjective as much as any noun can do. It’s a whole pie, not a half pie, and the word order tells us it’s not “all pies”.

We’re pretty sure you can’t say *chab tIn ‘ey*, but you can say {tInbogh chab ‘ey} or {‘eybogh chab tIn} or use two or more adjectives with {-bogh}, though I don’t trust myself to get that right without studying the canon first. [Something like {Xbogh, Ybogh je SuvwI’} faintly echoes in my mind.] 

The point here is that Okrand has avoided using two adjectives on one noun, preferring to keep the grammar simpler for forming that noun-adjective phrase, allowing only one adjective. Maybe this idea, which was not revealed to us until many years after TKD, also applies to {Hoch} following a noun, and Okrand hasn’t revealed this yet. 

This is probably not the case, but it could be. We don’t know for sure, unless one of the canon masters can fill in important missing examples.

As a matter of personal style, depending on which meaning you intended, I’d either use {Hoch chab tIn} or {tInbogh chab Hoch} so that the noun is always between the two things that describe it, so it is always clear that the adjective applies to {chab} and not to {Hoch}. This allows {Hoch} tell us which meaning you want, and moves {tIn} around to avoid the issue of putting two descriptors on the same side of the noun. I’m not saying everyone should do this. It’s not a requirement.

It’s just what I’d do to avoid this reasonable, but unconfirmed grammatical construction, and I think that we can agree that my suggested alternative is inarguably functional to convey the intended meaning.

I recognize that often these discussions have nothing to do with clearly expressing intended meaning — that the original post wanted to know about the details of the mechanics of a specific grammatical point, not about how to express a particular idea clearly with confirmed good grammar. I respect that my suggestion fails to answer what SuStel has more perfectly answered. This post is just an expansion of ideas about the topic, primarily provided for persons other than mayqel. It’s an addendum to SuStel’s analysis, not a correction of it or a challenge to it.

As a post-script, is there a problem putting an adjective between the two nouns of a noun-noun construction? My memory on this is fuzzy. I suspect that there was a time that I thought it was forbidden, but canon revealed that it’s not a problem. I honestly don’t remember. — Ahhh. Never mind. Only the second noun can take a Type 5 suffix. It’s got nothing to do with adjectives.

I skipped a cog tooth, subconsciously thinking that the Type 5 suffix, like an adjective, would overburden the noun-noun construction if applied to the first noun. My bad. Continue with your train of thought, undisturbed.

charghwI’ vaghnerya’ngan

rInpa’ bomnIS be’’a’ pI’.

> On Jan 14, 2020, at 9:13 AM, SuStel <sustel at trimboli.name> wrote:
> On 1/14/2020 9:05 AM, mayqel qunen'oS wrote:
>> I've been wondering lately, with regards to using {Hoch} after a noun with an adjective, and more specifically its' position with regards to the adjective.
>> Assume we want to say "all of the big pie". There are two options:
>> {chab tIn Hoch}
>> {chab Hoch tIn}
>> Of the two, my preference would be the first one, since -the way I understand it- it goes like:
>> "There is a big pie, and we consider all of it".
>> While the second, feels like it means:
>> "There is a pie, we consider all of it, and that all, is big".
>> The only thing which troubles me, is whether it's permissible to actually place {Hoch} after an adjective.
>> Would anyone like to share any thoughts on this matter ?
> Think of the word Hoch as meaning entirety or all-ness. chab Hoch means the pie's all-ness, the all-ness of the pie. If you say Hoch tIn, you're saying big all-ness, and chab Hoch tIn means the pie's big all-ness. This isn't what you mean, so it can't be right.
> chab tIn means big pie, so chab tIn Hoch means big pie's all-ness, which is what you're looking for. There is no problem putting Hoch after an adjectivally acting verb, because you don't consider the verb on its own: it's part of the noun phrase chab tIn. Noun phrases participate in the noun-noun construction exactly as if they were nouns.
> -- 
> SuStel
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