[tlhIngan Hol] {moch} in noun-noun constructions

SuStel sustel at trimboli.name
Thu Mar 19 06:26:07 PDT 2020

On 3/18/2020 2:38 PM, Lieven L. Litaer wrote:
> The general question here is, whether a the first noun in a
> N-N-construction can be used to modify the second noun.

Yes. Absolutely. The noun-noun construction represents a genitive 
relationship between two nouns, of which possessive is only a subset. In 
general, /genitive /means being associated in some way. It's a very 
broad concept with many facets.

We have lots of examples of non-possessive noun-noun constructions in 
Klingon. mayqel cited *baS 'In*/bell,/ which cannot be interpreted as 
/drum which is possessed by metal./ We have your own citation of 
*QaDmoHwI' DIr*/towel,/ which is not a skin possessed by a drier. We 
have *vaj toDuj*/warrior courage/ from KGT, which one might try to 
interpret as /courage possessed by a warrior,/ except the word *vaj* 
refers to warriorhood, not a particular warrior, so *vaj toDuj* refers 
to the kind of courage associated with warriorhood, rather than courage 
actually possessed by warriorhood. We have *nISwI' HIch*/disruptor 
pistol,/ which is not a pistol possessed by a disruptor but a pistol of 
the disruptor variety. We have *'Iw HIq*/bloodwine,/ which is telling us 
a kind of alcohol, not that the blood possesses the wine. We have *may' 
qoch*/battle partner,/ which does not mean that the battle possesses the 
partner. And so on and on and on.

While Okrand may not use the word "genitive" in /The Klingon 
Dictionary,/ the noun-noun construction is nevertheless Klingon's 
genitive construction.

> What is a
> {ra'wI' Qel}? A {SuvwI' Qel}? ... I think this leads back to my question
> of a few weeks ago, where I suggested if there is some kind of negative
> appostion, as seen in {QaDmoHwI' DIr}.

I have no idea what "negative apposition" is supposed to mean, but 
*QaDmoHwI' DIr* is an example of a genitive construction.

If we assume that *ra'wI' Qel* isn't to be interpreted as /the 
commander's doctor,/ then it means /commander-doctor,/ that is, a doctor 
who commands, a doctor who is a commander. Likewise, if we assume that 
*SuvwI' Qel* doesn't refer to a warrior's doctor, then it means 
/warrior-doctor,/ a doctor who doubles as a warrior.


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