[tlhIngan Hol] law' puS with the -taHvIS and type-9 clauses preceding each element

De'vID de.vid.jonpin at gmail.com
Thu Feb 11 07:17:41 PST 2021

On Wed, 10 Feb 2021 at 18:23, Will Martin <willmartin2 at mac.com> wrote:

> In the canon example {qIbDaq SuvwI’’e’ SoH Dun law’ Hoch Dun puS}:
> The suffix {-‘e’} lets you know that everything being said happens with
> the filter that you are talking about warriors in the galaxy. That is what
> extends the comparison to both sides of the comparison.
> As for warriors in the galaxy, you are the most wonderful. Maybe there are
> more wonderful warriors somewhere else, but the bounds of this comparison
> falls within the topic of the whole sentence, which is warriors in the
> galaxy.
> This is not grammatically similar to {reH latlh qabDaq qul tuj law’ Hoch
> tuj puS}, since there is no {-‘e’} but I’d argue that it would be normal to
> interpret the locative to apply to the entire comparison.

Both of those sentences involve the suffix {-Daq}. But also, both {-'e'}
and {-Daq} are type-5 noun suffixes. Drop the {SuvwI''e'} from the first
sentence and the {reH} from the second and the sentences become
grammatically parallel:

{qIbDaq SoH Dun law' Hoch Dun puS}
{latlh qabDaq qul tuj law' Hoch tuj puS}

But in the first sentence, {qIbDaq} applies to the entire comparison. In
the second, it appears to apply only to the first half.

My reasoning is that the normal comparative is dirt simple:
> X [adjectival] law’, Y [adjectival] puS.
> The superlative is similar, replacing X or Y with {Hoch}.
> There are extensions of this grammatical construction, but each one of
> them is a little bit special. The best exceptions are the least special,
> requiring the least mental stretching to interpret.
> The simplest is to preface the entire comparison, as in the two examples
> considered up to this point:
> [Context for the comparison that would appear at the beginning of a normal
> sentence] [Comparison].
> Slightly more special would be:
> [Context for the first side of the comparison] [First side of the
> comparison] [Context for the second side of the comparison] [Second side of
> the comparison].
> It’s okay to have a sentence that is that second degree of special, but
> it’s not really so common that it is sufficiently anticipated that if there
> is no second context given, one would assume that the context applied only
> to the first half.

The whole point of this discussion is whether or not this is okay. I think
it is, but earlier, others have stated that they think it isn't. If you
think it's okay, I'm not the one you need to justify this to.

> Consider:
> {juHlIjDaq SoH Sub law’, juHDajDaq SoH Sub puS.}
> You are bolder at your house than you are at his house.

I would tentatively accept this as grammatical, but using grammar which is
implied by canon examples but never explained. IIUC, others would not
accept it and would consider it aberrant grammar.

> If I just said:
> {juHlIjDaq SoH Sub law’ ghaH Sub puS}.
> At your house, you are bolder than he is.
> Why would you expect this example to mean “You are bolder in your house
> than he is [perhaps even outside of your house],”? The context of the
> comparison is “in your house”.

I wouldn't expect it to mean that (without additional context), but I
couldn't rule out this meaning (you're bolder in your house than he is in
general), either.

> There is no reason to anticipate an omitted context for the second half of
> the comparison. For that, I would have said:
> {juHlIjDaq SoH Sub law’ Dat ghaH Sub puS.}
> If you give one scope, that stretches to the whole comparison. If you give
> a second scope, then the context has significant meaning for the
> comparison, because it’s really the two contexts that are being compared.
> Does this make sense to you?

Yes, perfectly. But my point is that the sentence {reH latlh qabDaq qul tuj
law' Hoch tuj puS} suggests the scope of the {-Daq} is not necessarily the
entire comparison.

Do you not see that the intended meaning of this sentence seems to
contradict your analysis? The comparison here is not between just things on
someone else's face, it's between something (a fire) on someone else's face
and everything else (including outside of someone else's face).

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