tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Thu Oct 21 08:20:55 1993

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the mysterious DOUBLE PREDICATE CAUSITIVES



>From: DSTRADER@delphi.com
>Date: Thu, 21 Oct 1993 01:22:15 -0400 (EDT)

>I'm in total agreement with all who say that {mughojmoHwI'} is equivalent
>to {ghojmoHwI'wI'}. It's the same thing, but I just liked the former for
>some reason. It seemed so unEnglish without that almost idiosyncratic
>possessive floating around in the translation.

Welllll, not *exactly* equivalent.  If my brother and I both hired
teachers to teach our cousin, the one I hired would be {ghojmoHwI'wI'} but
not {mughojmoHwI'}.  But that's a fine detail.

>But as for "double objects," your argument has no real relation to my
>spiel about double predicate causitives (henceforth to be known as DPC
>to eliminate excess typing). You gave the examples:

Sorry; I must have misread your article; the topic was floating around in
my head and I was probably projecting it onto things.

>{ghIchwIj DabochmoHchugh, ghIchlIj qanob}     and
>{ro'qegh 'Iwchab HInob}

>Hello!! These are not DPC's. The pronominal prefix is used to indicate
>a pronoun indirect object, which would have otherwise used {-vaD}.
>This is a different argument. 

Ah, I see.  Yes, it is different.  I think you'll agree it's related,
though, and possibly still can be used as some corroborating evidence,
though not decisively.

>When {-moH} is tacked onto a verb that can take an object, like {ghoj},
>the risk of running into the DPC problem exists because two verbs are 
>really present: "cause" and "learn". The object of "cause" is learning
>something, and of course, "learn" can already take an object.

>So, what does this mean?: {yInQeD vIghojmoH} ---
>Not, "I teach biology," but really, "I cause biology to learn."
>This validates my point that there really is no verb "to teach"
>in Klingon. There is the semantic concept of teaching, but
>it merely stems as a causitive from "to learn."

I don't think I buy this.  We've seen in my examples as well as some other
places that there doesn't seem to be a clear-cut distinction between direct
and indirect objects in Klingon.  Similar things happen in other languages.
Consider Esperanto, which marks its direct objects with an accusative case,
but uses prepositions for everything else.  In a sentence with only an
indirect object, it is commonly put in accusative ("Mi demandis lin", "I
asked him") but when a direct object comes in, it displaces the indirect
object ("Mi demandis demandon al li", "I asked a question of him").  The
same thing could be happened in English, but our direct and indirect
objects look the same.  I think there are other canon examples in Klingon;
I can't find them at the moment.  I contend that the arguments of a Klingon
verb are not fixed in meaning as they are in Lojban or Loglan, with the
possible exception of the subject place, but rather fit what seems to be
needed from context.  Ah, here's a near-example; we have {yIje'} for "Feed
him!", right?  I bet you'd agree that "Feed him qagh" would be "ghaHvaD
qagh yIje'"; here we have "ghaH" filling first the direct-object (implied)
then the indirect-object place of "je'".  OK, somewhat circular reasoning
in that I assume I'm right to construct my proof, but otherwise, how
*would* you say "feed him qagh"?

Hebrew's word for "to teach" is also a derivative of "to learn".  I just
double-checked by asking a native speaker who works here, and he verified
that "I taught Hebrew" would be "'ani limadti `ivrit" (it wouldn't mean "I
caused Hebrew to learn), with the word for "Hebrew" unmarked by
prepositions in the direct-object's place.  How *would* you say "I teach
biology" if not {yInQeD vIghojmoH}?

>You can legally say, "I teach the kids." {puqpu' vIghojmoH}.
>But what about, "I teach the kids biology."?
>Literally, "I cause the kids to learn biology." where "kids" is the object
>of "cause" and "biology" is the object of "learn."
>My method for handling DPCs is the verb {qaSmoH} with {'e'} as its object.

>{yInQeD lughoj puqpu' 'e' vIqaSmoH} or for simplicity's sake,
>{jIHmo' yInQeD lughoj puqpu'}.

I still don't buy it.  It's *way* too convoluted (though I must say I like
{jIHmo' yInQeD lughoj puqpu'}, but it isn't quite "I teach the kids bio".
I just like a good use of "-mo'").  Hebrew, again according to my informant,
so you don't have to trust me, says "'ani limadti otah `ivrit" for "I
taught her Hebrew", with "her" definitely marked as a *direct* object
(Hebrew marks definite direct objects and pronouns), and the word for
Hebrew still unmarked.  I made sure to ask in past tense to avoid problems
with the fact that Hebrew's present-tense verbs are really participles.

>As for {pong}, that's also a different story. I've wondered ever since the
>first day I noticed {pong} in TKD why Okrand didn't make it 
>"to be called, named." That's what a lot of languages do.

>*POP!* Wait a second! A thought just popped into my head.

>Maybe if you wanted to say " They call the wind 'Mariah,'" just use
>the handy, dandy CAUSITIVE once again. Of course, you have to do some
>word shuffling to get a grmmatically correct sentence. How 'bout this?:

>{"Mariah" 'oH SuS pong'e' 'e' luqaSmoH}.

I like the causative, but {qaS} really doesn't seem to do it for me.  It
just seems to much tied in with "happening" to fit here.  {chaHmo' "Mariah"
'oH SuS pong'e'} would be better, to me.

>I was almost going to use {-moH} on {'oH}. That's another interesting
>issue.. How would you say "They made him an officer."
>It couldn't be *{yaS lughaHmoH}. NO, I REALLY DON'T THINK SO!
>Just say {yaS ghaH 'e' luqaSmoH} and be done with it.

Gotta agree there; {*ghaHmoH} doesn't work too well for me either.

~mark




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