[tlhIngan Hol] Etymology of {De'wI'}

Alan Anderson qunchuy at alcaco.net
Sat Oct 3 11:16:40 PDT 2020

On Oct 3, 2020, at 12:37 PM, SCOTT <amavocet at comcast.net> wrote:
> I am curious about the etymology of {De'wI'} ("computer").

All we have is a hypothesized obsolete verb meaning something like “process information”.

> It seems, rather, that the noun {De'} is taking the verb suffix, making it "thing which... datas (?)." Is that, in fact, what is happening here?

If that’s what is happening here, it is an anomaly and should not be treated as productive grammar. It’s more likely that there used to be a verb {De'} that is not currently used by itself.

> If so, are there other known cases of nouns taking verb suffixes, or of verbs taking noun suffixes?

There is another word that parallels {De'wI'} perfectly: {DeghwI'} “helmsman”. There’s no regular verb {Degh} “steer, pilot”, just a slang usage meaning “improvise, act without a plan”.

The noun for “bed”, {QongDaq}, looks like a verb with a noun suffix. However, we’ve been told that it’s actually a reduced form of {QongmeH Daq} “place for sleeping”.

-- ghunchu'wI'

More information about the tlhIngan-Hol mailing list