[tlhIngan Hol] jar DamaSqu'bogh yIngu' vs nuq 'oH jar'e' DamaSqu'bogh

SuStel sustel at trimboli.name
Tue Jul 14 07:25:56 PDT 2020

On 7/14/2020 10:18 AM, mayqel qunen'oS wrote:
>> The answer to the question yIH nuq? ("What is a tribble?") would presumably be a
>> definition or description of a tribble.  This being the case, then, the
>> answer to the question jarlIj qaq nuq?  ("What is your preferable month?")
>> would presumably be a definition of "your favorite month." But this is not
>> what you want to find out by asking your question.  What you really mean
>> to ask is something like "Of all the months, which one do you prefer?"
> If I wrote {nuq 'oH jar'e' DamaSqu'bogh}, then couldn't we have again
> the same problem ? Couldn't this sentence be understood as "asking for
> the definition of the month which you prefer", instead of asking the
> listener to name the month which he prefers ?

*nuq 'oH jar'e' DamaSqu'bogh?
jarvam 'oH jar'e' vImaSqu'bogh.*

As a noun, *nuq* just substitutes in for the answer. *nuq* can't 
substitute in for the answer when *nuq* is standing in for a pronoun 
that is playing a verb-like role. Okrand isn't saying that asking for a 
definition calls for different grammar than asking for a choice. He's 
just saying that that particular sentence,*jarlIj qaq nuq,* is formed in 
a way that asks for a defintion, where what the speaker really intends 
is a choice, something that that particular sentence doesn't support.


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