tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Fri Oct 22 07:35:49 1993

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DoublePredicateCausitives



>From: DSTRADER@delphi.com
>Date: Fri, 22 Oct 1993 06:49:40 -0400 (EDT)


>Recently I came up with a useful construction for dealing with DPCs.
>It went something like this:

>English: "[A] cause [B] to [verb] [C]." (I cause the kids to learn biology.)
>Klingon: {[C] [verb] [B] 'e' qaSmoH [A]} (yInQeD lughoj puqpu' 'e' vIqaSmoH)

>MarkShoulson, however, doesn't buy this idea. He suggested that indirect
>objects using {-vaD} are more likely used in such double predicates.

>{puqpu'vaD yInQeD vIghojmoH}

>He went on to prove this with a construction using {je'}:

>"I feed him qagh." - {ghaHvaD qagh vIje'}

>This is evident by the fact that {je'} = {SopmoH}.
>But would a Klingon really say {ghaHvaD qagh vISopmoH}.
>Shoulson thinks so, of course, but I find it confusing as to whether
>the object of {je'} is supposed to be a food or the thing that eats the food.
>I would venture to say it's not both. Even tho it does make sense (to us
>Terrans) to say either {qagh vIje'} or {ghaH vIje'}. I don't quite like
>this, because if you said {qagh vISopmoH}, you would definitely get
>several peculiar sneers from any nearby Klingons. It just doesn't
>make sense to use {je'} or {SopmoH} without stating the thing that eats.

It sounds to me like we're going around in circles.  I assert something
with no proof, and you counter with something else with no proof, and
everything is stated as though we know with perfect clarity what Klingons
would say or think (*my* native informant can beat up *your* native
informant :-) ).

>Also, again comparing our constructions, think about this sentence:

>"Keep the bugs away from the control panel."/
>"Cause the bugs to stay away from the control panel."

>My method: {SeHlaw luDoHtaH ghewmey 'e' yIqaSmoH}.
>MShoulson's method: {ghewmeyvaD SeHlaw yIDoHmoHtaH}*

>If {qagh vISopmoH} brings a sneer of cynicism to a Klingon's face,
>that latter sentence would most likely evoke slight violence in
>contempt for someone who would slaughter tlhIngan Hol like that.
>It doesn't remain consistent for all causitives. Maybe it works
>with {ghojmoH}, but it certainly doesn't work with {DoHmoH} or,
>say, {leghmoH}:

As Nick said, nobody claimed my method was completely general, for one
thing, and I never said your method was wrong, just perhaps overly wordy
and redundant.  (I'm also not 100% sure I don't like your "ghewmeyvaD
SeHlaw yIDoHmoHtaH", but that's something of an extension to "-vaD" that's
a bit much).

>Shoulson argued that Hebrew does make use of indir.obj.s with its
>causitive form of "to teach."
>[Shoulson]vaD vIjatlh tlhIngan Hol 'oHbe'qu'bej [Hebrew]'e'

Dat SojDaj Sam SuvwI', 'ej Dat De'Daj Sam tej.  OK, that's not an official
proverb, but it should be.  You get information where you can find it.  I
don't claim that Klingon is Hebrew, or anything else, nor even that it must
function just as they do, but to refuse even to try to glean information
from languages with related structures is shortsighted.

Slightly off-topic possible support for the thesis that the "object" of a
transitive verb is not precisely fixed in meaning: we have in Power Klingon
mention of "to'baj 'uS lughoDlu'bogh" for "stuffed tobaj legs".  Now, if
the object of "ghoD"/"stuff" were fixed to be the thing stuffed [into
something else], this wouldn't work.  Here, we have legs that have had
something else stuffed into them.  Not evidence, just something to
consider.

~mark



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