tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Wed Dec 08 14:02:26 1993

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You Body-part You!



>From: laibow@brick.purchase.edu (Marnen Laibow-Koser)
>Date: Wed, 8 Dec 93 14:45:05 EST

>Doch tlha' jatlh nichyon:
>: 
>: 
>: Anyway, it seems a worthwhile pursuit to me to consider such effects in
>: Klingon. What would it mean if, in a fit of anger not unlike one I had
>: earlier today, I called people "nuvDu'"? Would it mean "you tools!", since
>: nothing is less independent and free-willed than a body part? Or would it
>: be a term of endearment, since nothing is as dear to one as one's body
>: parts? (Thus the Greek salutation: "Welcome, my eyes twain!" --- meaning
>: "Hullo there!") Anyone?
>Hmmm....perhaps we could insult people by calling them >nuvmey<, or indeed by
>using >mey< on _any_ language-users that come up in the conversation, since
>using the non-sentient possessive suffixes insults the _addressee_ (or perhaps
>the possessed), not the possessor (>joHwij< insults my interlocutor (or perhaps
>my lord (!)), not me). >mujang vay' neH'a'?<

No,no,no,no.  Using "-mey" on language-using nouns is *not* pejorative.
Let's say that again, in unison: Using "-mey" on language-using nouns is
*not* pejorative.  I'm sorry to be so forceful, but this mistake has been
made over and over again.  Re-read page 23.  Using "-mey" on sentients
implies "scattered all about".  It says *zip* about there being a
pejorative connotation, and it would say if there were.  BUT: using -wIj,
-lIj, -maj, and -raj for language-using possessee *is* pejorative,
presumably of the thing possessed (otherwise what would be bad about
joHwIj?  It would only be bad if you were addressing your the person, but
would you say that I could tell an enemy {?yIHoH mura'pu' joHwIj}, "my lord
has commanded me to kill you [Lit. my lord has commanded me "Kill him"]",
and expect that to be an insult to the enemy?)

~mark



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