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Object/acc. (was Re: ÓNI, ONYE)

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  • David Kiltz
    ... What, then, is your definition of object in this context? ... In German? What about e.g. nom. _der Ochse_, acc. _den Ochsen_? David Kiltz
    Message 1 of 17 , May 14, 2003
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      On Samstag, April 26, 2003, at 12:06 Uhr, Hans wrote:

      > Indeed, attaching a pronoun to a preposition clearly marks it as an
      > object!

      What, then, is your definition of "object" in this context?

      > In languages like German, English, Italian,... the difference
      > between acc. and nom. is no longer expressed in nouns

      In German? What about e.g. nom. _der Ochse_, acc. _den Ochsen_?

      David Kiltz
    • David Kiltz
      ... I don t understand the connection you make between green and with thee . The first is an adjective, with thee is not. Indeed with thee has no
      Message 2 of 17 , May 14, 2003
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        On Mittwoch, April 16, 2003, at 10:20 Uhr, Carl Hostetter wrote:

        > Moreover, it seems to me that asserting that _aselye_ 'with thee' is
        > the subject is equivalent to saying that, in the sentence: "The grass is
        > green", "green" is the subject (and, therefore, a noun).

        I don't understand the connection you make between "green" and "with
        thee". The first is an adjective, "with thee" is not. Indeed "with
        thee" has no characteristics of an adjective but "thee" clearly is a
        noun, just as in a phrase "with the dog" "dog" is a noun. I'd be
        curious to know what you mean.

        [My point is that the (predicate) prepositional phrase "with thee" is no
        more the "subject" of the sentence than is the (predicate) adjective
        "green". Yet you have called "with thee" the subject of the sentence.
        Further, to what follows, while it is true that the copula has no
        grammatical object in these sentences -- so far as I know that was
        never in question, and certainly I never claimed that "with thee" is
        the object of the copula -- nonetheless the preposition "with" does
        have an object, namely "thee". CFH]

        A functional object, as I understand it, is the second participant of a
        verbal sentence. Cf. "I (subj.) see you (obj.)". In a nominal sentence
        there is no object (functionally or logically). "The lord is with thee"
        is functionally the same as "Thou art with the Lord" or "The Lord and
        thou art together" (with semantic nuances, but that's irrelevant at
        this point). The fact that in most I.-E. languages nouns, taking
        prepositions, take the same *form* as objects of a verbal sentence do
        does not, in any way, make them functionally the same. While I agree
        that _elye_ may well be an oblique case (although the form isn't
        clear), there is no question that it isn't an object. "To be" has a
        valence of 1, it can never take an object. "With thee" is part of the
        nominal phrase, it is an adnominal addition, not one to the verb. In
        German the sentence reads "der Herr ist mit Dir". _Dir_ is the form of
        the indirect object (dative) of _Du_ ("You"). Just as _Thee_. To call
        _mit Dir_ an indirect object would, with all respect, in my eyes, be
        absurd. Imagine a sentence: "Ich warte dich ihm" vs "Ich warte mit dir
        auf ihn". In the latter sentence ("I wait for him with you") _auf ihn_
        is indeed a prepositional object, however, _mit dir_ is *not* a
        prepositional indirect object.

        Maybe, it boils all down to a question of terminology. Just as in a
        sentence "the window was hit by a bullet" "bullet" is the logical
        subject, so is "with the" in the sentence in question. Again, the
        *formal* identity of e.g. in German the indirect object (dative) with a
        (pro)noun after the preposition "mit" has nothing to do with their
        respective functions in these two, very different, cases.

        [Yes, indeed, it has everything to do with terminology, as I thought
        we'd already established. When you used "subject" as a shorthand for
        the "logical subject" of the sentence, others (quite naturally, I think)
        took it to mean the _grammatical_ subject of the sentence. This was
        not really a matter of form, but of grammatical vs. (your view of)
        logical function. But I still haven't been persuaded that the predicate
        prepositional phrases in the sentences under discussion are in any
        way a subject, logical or otherwise. CFH]
      • David Kiltz
        ... The distinction logical vs grammatical subject is, IMHO, in general terms unfortunate. The definition of grammatical subject is apparently based solely
        Message 3 of 17 , May 14, 2003
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          On Mittwoch, Mai 14, 2003, at 06:03 Uhr, Carl Hostetter wrote:

          > When you used "subject" as a shorthand for the "logical subject" of
          > the sentence, others (quite naturally, I think) took it to mean the
          > _grammatical_ subject of the sentence. This was not really a matter
          > of form, but of grammatical vs. (your view of) logical function. But I
          > still haven't been persuaded that the predicate prepositional phrases
          > in the sentences under discussion are in any way a subject, logical or
          > otherwise. CFH]

          The distinction logical vs grammatical subject is, IMHO, in general
          terms unfortunate.

          The definition of "grammatical subject" is apparently based solely on
          formal grounds.

          [Not at all. I think of the grammatical subject of a sentence as that
          part of the sentence filling the role or function of the subject,
          regardless of its form. You are quite right to have noted that form and
          function must be kept separate (no matter how much they might coincide
          at times); but that is not the failure of distinction here. As I see it,
          you are taking a predicate prepositional phrase == prep. + grammatical obj.
          of prep., and calling this the "subject" of the sentence, by which you mean
          "logical subject". I have yet to be convinced that this has any validity,
          but even if it does, it was your use of "subject" for (whatever you mean by)
          "logical subject" that caused the confusion. CFH]

          I think this view doesn't do the language justice. If, syntactically,
          the subject is the first participant of a verb (or the only one of the
          copula) then it is most prominently encoded as nominative but it
          doesn't have to be. As you accepted, "to be" doesn't take an object.
          What then is "thee", the object of a preposition ? I never heard
          anybody call it that.

          [Oh, but I have, many, many times, from many different sources,
          spoken and written. I daresay anyone educated in grammar in an
          English-speaking school will have learned to call such the "object of
          the preposition". CFH]

          The term object is ambiguous here since it is applied to two
          syntactically (not formally) completely different phenomena. What I'm
          aiming it, is establishing a relation between the syntactical terms subject
          and object vis-à-vis case endings. Unlike Ivan Derzhanski I don't think
          this obscures anything because there is no one-to-one relation between
          those categories. I still don't see how it could make sense to say a
          preposition takes the accusative and dative, hence we give it the same
          name as a syntactical relation to a verb.

          [And yet we do, and for very long now have. CFH]

          Why bother with syntax anyway, if we don't make a distinction? I'm not
          trying to obscure an equation that doesn't exist but to illustrate a
          difference.

          Out of curiosity: How would you define the function of subject and
          object in a sentence?

          [I don't think I would attempt to; I'm not that kind of linguist. But I
          knows 'em when I sees 'em. CFH]

          David Kiltz
        • Frederick Hoyt
          [This discussion is drifting far afield from Tolkien s languages -- whatever the linguistic merits of the discussion, we can be pretty certain that Tolkien
          Message 4 of 17 , May 14, 2003
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            [This discussion is drifting far afield from Tolkien's languages -- whatever
            the linguistic merits of the discussion, we can be pretty certain that Tolkien
            never concerned himself with "pivots" or "binding theory prominence" while
            practising his language-making Art. If anyone wishes to continue this
            discussion, it will have to be brought 'round to Tolkien again. CFH]

            Please pardon me if I crash this thread.

            Yehuda Falk of the Hebrew University has written a very nice (short,
            clear, to the point) paper on the distinction between different notions
            of "subject." He summarizes varies threads of research going back to at
            least the early 1970's, and motivates a basic distinction between the
            Pivot (grammatical subject, discourse-functional subject), and Logical
            Subject (most 'salient' thematic participant). The distinction is
            backed up by a battery of criteria drawing on a wide range of
            languages. It's available online as a PDF:

            http://cslipublications.stanford.edu/LFG/5/lfg00falk.pdf

            Distinguishing between the Pivot and Logical Subject might go a long
            way toward clearing up some of the terminological issues addressed in
            the preceding posts. Whether or not one chooses to adopt the
            terminology, the evidence clearly supports the distinction between a
            grammatical subject and a semantic subject.

            Thanks,

            Fred Hoyt

            Frederick M. Hoyt
            Linguistics Department
            University of Texas at Austin
            fmhoyt@...
            LIN 312 - The Linguistics of Middle-earth website:
            http://uts.cc.utexas.edu/~fmhoyt/LIN312Homepage/312Main.html
          • Lukas Novak
            ... Please excuse me to intrude on your learned discourse, but it seems to me that the differences are more than slight . It seems to me that arguing that
            Message 5 of 17 , May 15, 2003
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              David Kiltz wrote:

              > A functional object, as I understand it, is the second participant of a
              > verbal sentence. Cf. "I (subj.) see you (obj.)". In a nominal sentence
              > there is no object (functionally or logically). "The lord is with thee"
              > is functionally the same as "Thou art with the Lord" or "The Lord and
              > thou art together" (with semantic nuances, but that's irrelevant at
              > this point).

              Please excuse me to intrude on your learned discourse, but it seems
              to me that the differences are more than "slight". It seems to me that
              arguing that these three sentences are "logically the same" is to make
              the same mistake as many logicians do when they claim that since a
              proposition A1 is equivalent to A2, they are one and the same (and
              according to the logician's preferences, either A1 is claimed to be
              only an inadequate expression of which the true logical form is A2,
              or vice versa).

              In my opinion, at least on the logical level there is a clear distinction
              between the proposed three sentences. In "The Lord is with thee",
              "The Lord" is the logical subject, of which "being with thee" is
              predicated. In "You are with the Lord", the subject is "You",
              and in the last one the subject is "The Lord and thou".
              Although these sentences are _logically_ equivalent, i.e. they imply
              from each other mutually, they are in fact essentially different:
              they have different subjects and predicates. In the first you say
              about the Lord that he has some relation of proximity to "thee", in
              the second you say that "thou" have some relation of proximity to the
              Lord. As theologians would claim, these relations are not the same and
              differ radically in their ontological nature.

              I am not exactly aware of what you mean by "functional", so I will
              refrain from arguing whether they can be said to be "functionally" the
              same. However, my belief is that grammar serves to express in some way
              the logical structure of thought (or language, if you will). Therefore
              it seems to me that if there is a logical distinction between two
              sentences, and if there is some distinction in their grammatical structure,
              that can be seen as corresponding to this logical distinction, then it
              is unsubstantiated to deny that the grammatical structure reflects directly
              the actual logical strucxture of these sentences, and can therefore
              not be dismissed as mere surface variation in expressing one and the
              same thing (thought or proposition).

              > Maybe, it boils all down to a question of terminology. Just as in a
              > sentence "the window was hit by a bullet" "bullet" is the logical
              > subject, so is "with the" in the sentence in question.

              I think I have to disagree from the (philosophical-)logician's point of
              view. In this sentence the subject indeed is "the window". It is
              the window that is the object of the mental act of characterizing,
              known as judgement, therefore it is the window what is the subject of
              the judgement from the logical point of view; and the characteristic
              ascribed to the window is certain passion it suffers from the bullet,
              i.e. it is the characteristic "that which has been hit by a bullet" is
              the predicate of the judgement. Of course, this proposition or
              judgement implies a _distinct_ judgement about the bullet, ascribing
              it an _action_, namely that of having hit the window. And it also
              implies many other distinct judgements, e.g. a judgement about the
              existence of the action of the bullet's hitting the window, etc. They
              are logically equivalent, but that does not mean identical.

              I think I can trace why it seems that the "logical" subject of passive
              sentences is the agent. It is because the real agent is the
              ontological subject of the action. But the real patient is also
              the ontological subject - of its passion. And regardless of all that, the
              question of what the _logical_ subject of a judgement or proposition is
              does not in any way depend on what the ontological subject is and what
              the ontological property is. Nothing hinders you from making an
              ontological property, such as action or passion (see the abovementioned
              example) the logical subject of your proposition, since as long as
              anything is capable of becoming an (ontological) object of human thought,
              it is capable of becoming the logical subject of the judgements made
              by humans, since to think about something means to ascribe it some
              characteristics in judgements, in which it is the subject and the
              characteristics the predicate.

              Lukas, a would-be philosopher, but not a linguist,
              who is nevertheless deeply enjoying this extremely
              interesting discussion.
            • Lukas Novak
              ... There was a rule in scholasticians disputations that it was the task of the one who denied a distinction to prove the identity, not vice versa. The reason
              Message 6 of 17 , May 15, 2003
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                David Kiltz wrote:

                > Why bother with syntax anyway, if we don't make a distinction? I'm not
                > trying to obscure an equation that doesn't exist but to illustrate a
                > difference.

                There was a rule in scholasticians' disputations that it was the task
                of the one who denied a distinction to prove the identity, not vice
                versa. The reason is that a false distinction does not produce
                any false implications (it only hinders from inferring some true ones);
                whereas false identity does.

                Lukas
              • Ales Bican
                Patrick Wynne wrote in response to Hans wish to see some evidence ... **However, it must be noted that development of monosyllabic words (MWs) differed from
                Message 7 of 17 , May 23, 2003
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                  Patrick Wynne wrote in response to Hans' wish "to see some evidence
                  why _-ni, -le_ are accusative in form":

                  > One reason for assuming _óni_ contains acc. _-ni_ is phonological,
                  > and a key piece of evidence occurs in the very sentence Hans cites:
                  > _tye-meláne_ 'I love thee' (V:61). The Etymologies gives the base
                  > of 'I' as NI- (2), and a consistent phonological rule throughout the
                  > external history of Q(u)enya is that original short final _*-i_
                  > becomes _-e_, e.g. *_liñwi_ 'fish' > Q _lingwe_ (V:369 s.v. LIW-).

                  **However, it must be noted that development of monosyllabic
                  words (MWs) differed from development of polysyllabic ones.
                  For instance, it seems that certain short vowels were lost finally
                  (cf. _abaro_ > CE _abar_, WJ/XI:371). This could not happen in MW,
                  because the very word would be lost then. Also, we know that long
                  vowels were reduced to short ones finally. However, MWs seem not
                  to reduce them, cf. _ní_ "woman" < NÍ (Etym) or _vá_, apparently
                  from _bá_ (WJ/XI:370). The Plotz Letter informs us that "all long
                  vowels were reduced to short vowels finally" in Spoken Quenya.
                  Again MWs seem not follow the rule, because we have _sí_ "now"
                  in "_Namárie_", for instance.

                  > Thus it is likely that the subject pronoun _-ne_ 'I' in _tye-
                  > meláne_is from earlier *_-ni_.

                  **That is certainly possible (though the subject pronoun for
                  "I" could have been simply *_-ne_ then (i.e. with the original
                  _e_, not from _i_)).

                  I think we do not have explicit examples of development of final
                  short _-i_ in MWs, but it is possible that even in them the _-i_
                  turned to _-e_. Or at least in the Etym (and _Lost Road_) era.
                  We may also note that Etym gives _no_ "under", apparently from
                  *_nu_. This would then show change of final _-u_ to _-o_
                  (parallel to change of _-i_ to _-e_) in a MW. Nevetheless, "_Namárie_"
                  gives _nu_ "under" instead. If we suppose that the "_Namárie_"
                  version of the preposition has the same origin, i.e. *_nu_, then it
                  might be that Tolkien changed his mind and decided that vowels
                  (or at least _u_ and _i_) did not undergo any change. Of course, the
                  origin of _nu_ might have been *_nó_, but we should then ask why
                  the long vowel was shortened if another long vowel in _sí_ was not.

                  > Note that the various versions of the Átaremma consistently
                  > maintain the distinction between nom. _emme_ 'we' and
                  > acc. _me_ 'us', e.g. _emme avatyarir_ 'we forgive' versus _úa
                  > mittanya me_ 'do not lead us' in At. I (VT43:8).

                  In a reply to Beregond Patrick wrote:

                  > I have shown that _-ni_ in _óni_ must derive from *_-nî_, the
                  > lengthened vowel strongly suggesting that it is accusative
                  > ["because *_ô-ni_ would regularly yield **_óne_"]; I have shown
                  > that _-me_ in _óme_ is identical in form with accusative _me_
                  > 'us' in the Átaremma and elsewhere, and that _te_ in _óte_
                  > appears to be identical to accusative _te_ 'them' in _a laita
                  > te_ 'praise them'. It is not unreasonable then to suppose that
                  > the other forms in this same chart, _óle_ et al., are based on
                  > accusative forms as well, with of course the exception of
                  > _onye, olye_, in which the endings _-nye, -lye_ are attested
                  > as nominative.

                  However, _me_ seems to be a nominative form as well, cf. _men_
                  in the same text. The form is not *_mén_, so it points rather to
                  nominative. I have mentioned that the form _sí_ "now" did not
                  undergo the shortening. Now consider _sín_ in SD/IX:310: the
                  vowel is not shortened when an ending _-n_ is added (whatever
                  its function). In Etym such a shortening is seen, because the base
                  SI- lists _sin_ besides _sí_. This is therefore another piece that
                  suggests that Tolkien changed his mind as regards the development
                  and behavior of MWs, because the form _sin_ appears in an
                  earlier version of the _Atalante_ Fragments (see LR/V:46).
                  Moreover, it is usually nominative (the least marked form) that
                  acquires case ending (more precisely, it is the least marked form
                  serves as nominative).

                  The fact that the reflex of final short CE _-i_ in _-e_ in Quenya is
                  not, in my view, sufficient for assuming that _-ni_ in an accusative
                  form, because as I have tried to show the behavior of CE
                  monosyllabic words is slightly different to the behavior of CE
                  polysyllabic words.

                  The question is whether_-ni_, _-le_ etc. in the _ó-_ chart (VT43:29)
                  are suffixes or whether the _ó-_ is a prefix. What I want to say is
                  which of the segments could stand alone, that is, which of them is
                  a separate word -- if any of them.

                  If _-ni, -le_ etc. are only suffixes and cannot stands as separate words,
                  I would not speak of them as of nominative or accusative forms but
                  rather as subject and object forms. Nominative does not necessarily
                  means subject and accusative does not necessarily mean object. Now
                  the question is of course whether they are subject or object forms.
                  It may be they are both (with _nye_ and _lye_ as alternatives).
                  However, if _ni, le_ etc. are separate words, then we can speak
                  about nominative and accusative, because the least marked forms
                  would be nominative from which accusative could be formed.
                  Nominatives would act as subjects and accusative as (direct) objects
                  in most cases. Yet here again I do not think we can say whether
                  they are the former or the latter, since the accusative as a case did
                  not exist in Spoken Quenya. Now as regards the forms _-s_ and
                  _-t_ (in _ós_ and _ót_, being variants of _ósa_ and _óta_), they
                  are hardly separate words. They may be reduced forms of _-sa_
                  and _-ta_ or plain suffixes, perhaps like _-nye_ and _-lye_, but
                  these could also perhaps stand alone, cf. _tye_ and _lye_ in _lyenna_.

                  > Acc. _me_ 'us' occurs in the dual form _met_ 'us two' in _Namárie_ as
                  > the object of a preposition: _imbe met_ 'between us (two)'.

                  **If _me_ is an accusative form, we should ask why the long vowel was
                  here shortened if long vowels seem not to be shortened in MWs. The
                  same with _met_ -- why is it not *_mét_?

                  > And I would propose that it is this same acc. _me_ that appears in
                  > _óme_ *'with us' in the chart cited in VT43:29. Similarly, the pl. pron.
                  _-te_ in _óte_ on the chart appears to be masculine, [...].

                  Does it? I think you meant "personal" (_-ta_ being impersonal), at least
                  this is what is implied from what is said on p. 20 of VT43. But if you really
                  meant masculine, what would be the corresponding feminine form?


                  Ales Bican
                • Hans
                  ... In fact, the Plotz Letter says so explicitly, the sentence you quoted continues: ... and before final cons. in words of two or more syllables . This is
                  Message 8 of 17 , May 25, 2003
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                    --- In lambengolmor@yahoogroups.com, Ales Bican <ales.bican@s...> wrote:

                    > The Plotz Letter informs us that "all long
                    > vowels were reduced to short vowels finally" in Spoken Quenya.
                    > Again MWs seem not follow the rule, because we have _sí_ "now"
                    > in "_Namárie_", for instance.

                    In fact, the Plotz Letter says so explicitly, the sentence you quoted
                    continues: "... and before final cons. in words of two or more
                    syllables". This is obviously connected with stress, remember
                    that the prefix _ó-_ becomes _o-_ when unstressed (XI:367).
                    With the retraction of stress, final vowels became unstressed
                    always, and shortened. This did not necessarily (or never?)
                    happen in monosyllabic words.

                    > **That is certainly possible (though the subject pronoun for
                    > "I" could have been simply *_-ne_ then (i.e. with the original
                    > _e_, not from _i_)).

                    I can't see any reason to assume that. The _-ne_ in _meláne_ has a
                    natural explanation, and in any other case I know of, the form is
                    _ni_ or derived from it. Let's analyze a few occurrences of the 1.
                    person sg. pronoun in the corpus:

                    We have
                    _ni_ "I" (Arctic Sentence)
                    _Atarinya_ "my father" (V:61)
                    _meláne_ "I love" (same page)
                    _inye_ "I" (same page)
                    _indo-ninya_ "my heart" (V:72)
                    _nin_ "me" (same page)
                    _NI_2 "I" (V:378)

                    This shows a consistent picture up to Etymologies: _ni_ or _inye_ as
                    "I", _-nya_ or even _ni-nya_ as possessive suffix, _ni-n_ as dative.
                    The change *_-ni_ >_-ne_ in final position was purely phonological.
                    A short pronominal suffix _-n_ is found in numerous entries in
                    Etymologies, too. Again, this fits into the general picture: short final
                    vowels (since unstressed) were lost often. So we can see two
                    alternative developments: *_-ni_ > _-ne_ > _-n_, or instead
                    strengthening of the suffix _-ne_ > _-nye_. It seems likely that
                    the possessive suffix was formed by combining _ni_ with the adjectival
                    suffix _-ya_, *_-niya_ > _-nya_. The pronoun remained through all
                    stages of Quenya. It appeared as a prefix shortly:

                    _nilendie_ "I have come" (IX:56)
                    _nimaruvan_ "I shall dwell" (same page)

                    The dative form _nin_ "for me" appears in Namárie (LR:368) and in the
                    late notes on _óre_ (VT41:11). Some time between them, we have the
                    forms _ónye_ and _óni_. As I said already, the argument that the pronouns
                    are not nominative (or subjective) in form makes sense, in my opinion.
                    They shouldn't be, because a subject doesn't need prepositions.

                    > The fact that the reflex of final short CE _-i_ in _-e_ in Quenya is
                    > not, in my view, sufficient for assuming that _-ni_ in an accusative
                    > form, because as I have tried to show the behavior of CE
                    > monosyllabic words is slightly different to the behavior of CE
                    > polysyllabic words.

                    Sure, but _-ni_ attached to anything are two syllables at least. Of
                    course, Patrick's argument relies on the assumption that the
                    custom of attaching pronominal suffixes to prepositions (which
                    obviously did not exist in CE) occurred earlier than the change
                    of final short -i > -e.

                    It seems that _ni_ did not occur as a stand-alone word in the corpus
                    after the Arctic Sentence. _inye_ seems to be derived form an
                    augmented form *_i-ni_. At least, that would explain the difference
                    to _elye_ "you" (LR:368).

                    I'll return to "you" (and other pronouns) in other posts.

                    Hans
                  • David Kiltz
                    ... Orthotone vs enclitic variants ? David Kiltz
                    Message 9 of 17 , May 26, 2003
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                      On Freitag, Mai 23, 2003, at 09:00 Uhr, Ales Bican wrote:

                      > **If _me_ is an accusative form, we should ask why the long vowel was
                      > here shortened if long vowels seem not to be shortened in MWs. The
                      > same with _met_ -- why is it not *_mét_?

                      Orthotone vs enclitic variants ?

                      David Kiltz
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