# [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 16:13:51 PST 2021

```On Thu, 11 Feb 2021 at 23:17, Will Martin <willmartin2 at mac.com> wrote:

> I guess I don’t get how you claim that your phrasing of “the fire is at
> its hottest” is more accurately what I’m saying than what I’m actually
> saying.
>

Use another way of phrasing this if you like. What I'm saying is that the
explanation of the superlative in TKD says that the formula "A Q {law'}
{Hoch} Q {puS}" means that A [= fire] is more Q [= hot] compared to
everything (else), i.e., to other things, and not to itself.

You're claiming that there is "ONE fire, and the place where it is hottest
is at someone else’s face", in your own words, yes? If there is "ONE fire",
then we're not comparing different fires, or comparing a fire with
something else, right? I've paraphrased this as "the (one) fire is at its
hottest" (i.e., in one place rather than anywhere else). Regardless of the
phrasing, do you agree with the *idea* that you are talking about one fire,
and comparing its hotness in one location to another, rather than comparing
a fire to something else?

> Why not suggests that the other example means “You are at your most
> wonderful,”?
>

Did you not understand why I think what you're claiming about the meanings
of the two sentences makes them *dis*similar rather than similar?

I *did* suggest that, if {latlh qabDaq qul tuj law' Hoch tuj puS} means
what you say it means (that there is one fire, and it is hottest on someone
else's face), then, indeed, {qIbDaq SuvwI''e' SoH Dun law' Hoch Dun puS}
might mean exactly that. Here's what I wrote:

<It's also possible that {qIbDaq SuvwI''e' SoH Dun law' Hoch Dun puS}
could, in some context, mean that the place where you are the most
wonderful warrior is in this galaxy (i.e., you wouldn't be as wonderful a
warrior in other galaxies as in this one).>

One way to paraphrase "the place where you are the most wonderful warrior
is in this galaxy" would be "you are at your most wonderful as a warrior in
this galaxy". So I did, in fact, suggest the thing that you're suggesting I
didn't!

Why not rephrase everything that anyone says who disagrees with you?
>

Because I am not rephrasing what you wrote in order to win an argument
against you, or to disparage you, but to try to clarify two different
meanings of "the fire is hottest". Quoting my previous message, these are:

<(1) "the fire is hottest among other things" and (2) "the fire is at its
hottest (e.g., than at any time or place)".>

I'm not rephrasing what you wrote to change it to something else. I am just
trying to distinguish two different meanings of "the fire is hottest". In
the first meaning, the fire is being compared to other things. In the
second meaning, the fire is being compared to itself. You insist that there
is "ONE fire", correct? And that this fire is the hottest, on someone
else's face? In my dialect of English, I would say "the fire is at its
hottest on someone else's face" for the second case (in contrast to "the
fire is the hottest thing on someone else's face" for the first). I
paraphrased what you wrote simply to distinguish between these two
meanings. If this is not how you would say it, we'll avoid that language.

Do you at least agree that there are two ways of understanding a
superlative: (1) by comparing a thing to other things, and (2) by comparing
a thing to itself (in another state, such as time or place)?

> I’m saying, “The fire is hottest,” and you don’t get to say that I’m
> saying, “The fire is at its hottest,” and convincingly pretend that that’s
> an error on my part for having said something I didn’t say.
>

And I'm saying, "the fire is hottest" has two distinct meanings. If no one
is allowed to paraphrase what you write when you write something ambiguous,
in order to clarify what you mean, then you're simply never going to
convince anyone of what you mean. Also, no one is trying to "pretend that's
an error on [your] part". I never once suggested you made an error, only
that your explanation of the superlative in the {latlh qabDaq} sentence is
doing something quite different than what's explained in TKD and in other
known canon comparison sentences with {Hoch} in the B position. I even
suggested that it's possible that Dr. Okrand either forgot how the
construction works, or deliberately ignored the established grammar, or was
implicitly extending it, as possibilities that might be compatible with

But fine. Without paraphrasing you, then, let's just say that "the fire is
hottest" has two meanings, meaning-(1) and meaning-(2). In meaning-(1), the
fire is being compared to other things. In meaning-(2), it is only being
compared to itself (there is "ONE fire, and the place where it is hottest
is at someone else’s face"). I am saying that, as I understand TKD,
meaning-(2) is excluded based on how the comparison construction is
explained, and only meaning-(1) is possible. As I understand your
interpretation, it's what I have called meaning-(2). If this is not
correct, how so? And if it is, do you agree that it is incompatible with a
strict reading of TKD? (For emphasis: I am not saying that this is an error
on your part. Kahless knows that TKD is full of holes. It could be that
you're right, but that using the superlative in this way is just not
explained very well.)

You asked above (sarcastically, it seems) why I didn't suggest that the
{qIbDaq SuvwI''e'} sentence means "you are at your most wonderful", but
that is exactly what I'm suggesting it might mean if meaning-(2) of the
superlative were possible. If you think there is "ONE fire, and the place
where it is hottest is at someone else’s face", then why is it not possible
that there is one warrior, and the place where he is the most wonderful is
in this galaxy? (The way I would say this is that "the warrior is at his
most wonderful in this galaxy".)

Also, how do you interpret the canon sentence {DujvamDaq tlhIngan nuH
tu'lu'bogh pov law' Hoch pov puS}? Do you consider it a possible
interpretation of this sentence that there is only one weapon, and the
place where it is best is on this ship? If not, why not? If so, do you
consider all superlatives which fall into the scope of a {-Daq} to be
ambiguous in the same way?

If I don't get to paraphrase you when you write something ambiguous, then
you don't get to claim that there is "ONE fire" without justifying it. To
me, it's pretty clear that the proverb strongly implies multiple fires. But