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  5. "may' Sut lutuQmoH SuvwI'pu'."

"may' Sut lutuQmoH SuvwI'pu'."

Translation:The warriors put on body armor.

May 16, 2018



For me, the lu- here makes this sentence feel like a word-for-word translation from English, which often uses singulars for plurals in a military context. Presumably each warrior puts on his own unit of armor? In which case it wouldn't be a plural subject acting on a singular object as lu- signifies--at least, not as I recall seeing it used elsewhere in these lessons.


I agree. The question is whether Sut is a countable noun (like outfit) or an uncountable noun (like clothes). Unfortunately, Marc Okrand has never used the word Sut in a way that would distinguish this for us.


Is there no need for {-egh} in this sentence? I translate it as "The warriors caused body armor to be worn." Is no object required? I would have thought it would be {may' Sut lutuQeghmoH SuvwI'pu'} "The warriors cause themselves to wear body armor."


Remember that -'egh begins with a qaghwI' (').

It's been a bit unclear whether a verb with -'egh or -chuq can have an explicit object. After all, the rules say verbs with either of these reflexive suffixes must have a no-object prefix because the subject is also the object.

For the rest of this post, assume that use of the reflexive suffixes implies no explicit object possible.

tuQ means wear as in have (clothes) on. It doesn't mean wear as in put (clothes) on. So if you want to talk about putting clothes on, you're talking about someone CAUSING someone else to have clothes on. -moH means the subject causes the verb to happen. tuQmoH means put (clothes) on (someone).

But note that tuQmoH DOESN'T mean subject puts clothes on object. The -moH doesn't imply that the object performs the verb (although it is often the case). So we can say Sut tuQmoH loD The man puts clothes on (someone). It's entirely possible that that someone is himself, and without other context that's a reasonable assumption to make.

may' Sut lutuQmoH SuvwI'pu' means the warriors CAUSE someone to have armor on. Without context, it might be reasonably assumed to mean they put armor on themselves.

With different context, it might mean something different. If a ruler wants to be dressed in his field plate armor, the kind of armor you needs servants to put on for you, may' Sut lutuQmoH SuvwI'pu' might mean The warriors put armor on (the ruler).

may SutDaj tuQ neH che'wI'
The ruler wants to wear his armor.

SuvwI'pu'Daj rIt
He summons his warriors.

may' SutDaj lutuQmoH SuvwI'pu'
The warriors dress him in his armor. (The him is implicit only.)


And if you wanted to make it explicit, you could say

ghaHvaD may' SutDaj lutuQmoH SuvwI'pu'

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