tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Wed Mar 09 02:45:29 1994

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Re: Qaghqoq

>Klingon also has a noun classification scheme, the classes being
>"speaking beings", "body parts", and "everything else"; they determine
>pluralization, possessives, and pronoun selection. The special forms
>for "speaking beings" aren't there to "give respect" to the item being
>referred to; they're just a feature of the grammar. Using the wrong
>suffix is, first and foremost, gramatically wrong; it so happens the
>error in question gives the impression of disrespect to listeners.

TKD section 3.3.4, pg. 25: "It is *grammatically correct* to use the regular
possessive suffixes with nouns refering to beings capable of speech (as in
{puqlIj} /your child/), but such constructions are considered derogatory." So
you see, all we can infer is that a regular possessive suffix is insulting
ONLY IF used on a sentient noun.

>The approach I take is to think of things in a "generic" sense. Does
>this noun, when used "generically", connote a speaking being?  Also,
>my view is that "speaking being" is a pre-scientific way of saying
>"obviously sentient being"; a being is sentient if it can tell you so.

At the heart of this debate is the question of whether Klingons themselves
think of families as sentient or not. After all, wouldn't they have a
collective consciousness. Another (rather stupid) question is whether
Klingons would call several units belonging to the Borg consciousness
{borghmey} or {borghpu'} since they really don't have independent
consciousnesses. Never mind that question. I'm just philosophizing to myself.

>I personally think "family" is an "everything else" noun, along with
>"army" and "ship's crew". A family isn't a "being", it's a group of
>beings. A talking computer isn't a "being", it's an object. A
>deaf-mute Klingon, however, would still be referred with the "speaking
>being" constructs, because Klingons in general are speaking beings.
>I hope this makes sense.
>-QumpIn 'avrIn  [email protected]

I would tend to agree that {qorDu'} is a non-sentient noun. However, there is
still room for speculation on whether {qorDu'} is a noun in its own right or
if it is an irregular plural for some noun not listed in TKD meaning
"relatives, family members". After all, {no'} is just an irregular plural of
{qempa'} and both these words are sentient. We know for a fact that {no'lIj}
is derogatory. Of course, without more info, you can argue that speculation
into a bloody pulp. It has no support. The argument in favor of a
non-derogatory {qorDu'lIj} has imesho much more support.

Guido#1, Leader of All Guidos

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