"Where is the animal?"
Translation:nuqDaq 'oHtaH Ha'DIbaH'e'?
why is -taH required on this verb? Would it not make just as much sense to exclude it? If so, how would it change the meaning of the question?
When using a pronoun as "to be" to indicate the location of something, lack of -taH seems to indicate some sort of permanence. So restaurants, cities, planets would most likely use 'oH without the -taH.
On the other hand, using -taH on the pronoun seems to imply some sort of temporariness to the location. People, animals, ships, etc. usually use -taH.
It's important to note that this course is not consistent with this idea. Then again, neither is Marc Okrand. This is an area where we have a supposition about how the rules work, but nothing conclusive.
That seems strange to me, because by the definition of -taH, it would seem to indicate the inverse meaning, although I can see the logic in it. I suppose that omitting -taH would indicate that the sentence is a matter of fact, and that the speaker doesn't expect it to change, while including it would indicate that the subject being at a location is ongoing, with an undetermined end-point.
By that logic, if someone is visiting a location (as with a vacation), would it not make sense to use -lI'?
It's not that -taH indicates temporariness; it is, as you say, that lacking a -taH indicates a general truth rather than an ongoing state which might or might not continue. It's not that the toilet is fixed forever in the bathroom (puchpa'Daq 'oH puch'e'), it's that you're just identifying a noun's location, not giving its ongoing state.
As for using -lI', I don't think we've seen it, and that may be because "being" at a location is not the action that is progressing. "Being" at a location simply is true until it's not.