tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Tue Apr 13 09:50:40 1999

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{-Hom}: descriptive or pejorative?

> BTW: Note that Okrand's comment that {QelHom} 'means "not quite a doctor"
> or "lesser doctor" or the like)' is in no way demeaning, but is merely
> descriptive.  So far as we know, {-Hom} has no inherent pejorative
> connotation, unlike diminutives in some Terran languages. 
: Thank you.  I was wondering about that. :)

I looked through my notes just to be sure I hadn't overlooked something.
>From the discussion of {-'a'} in TKD (p.21):

	This suffix indicates that what the noun refers to is bigger, more 
	important, or more powerful than it would be without the suffix. 

The statement is followed by several examples: {bIQ'a'} ocean, {Duy'a'}
ambassador, {ghom'a'} crowd, {la''a'} commandant, {pIn'a'} master,
{Qagh'a'} major blunder, {SuS'a'} strong wind, {toy'wI''a'} slave, {van'a'}
award, {vaS'a'} Great Hall, {woQ'a'} ultimate power (all from TKD).  Also
{bo'Dagh'a'} a big scoop (KGT) and {SoSbor'a'} main computer core,
{cheb'a'} unit of mass equal to ca. nine {cheb}, {chuq'a'} long range,
{chob'a'} main corridor (BoP Poster).

... and {-Hom} (ibid.):

	This is the opposite of the augmentative suffix. It indicates that 
	what the noun refers to is smaller, less important, or less powerful 
	than it would be without the suffix.

Examples: {juHHom} cottage, {be'Hom} girl, {loDHom} boy, {lupDujHom}
shuttlecraft, {mangHom} cadet, {nuHHom} small arms, {SuSHom} wisp of air,
{rojHom} truce/temporary peace, {vengHom} village, {yuQHom} planetoid (all
from TKD).  Other examples include {to'baj 'uSHom  lughoDlu'bogh} some (or
"a little piece of") stuffed tobbaj leg (PK), {toQDujHom} Bird of Prey
ornament (Hallmark), {bo'DaghHom} a little scoop (KGT), {HochHom} most (of)
(S15), {Qa'Hom} "titmouse" (KCD).

Note that these explanations are purely descriptive or logical; no moral
judgements are implied.  (Note that in KCD we're told that {Qa'Hom} can be
used as an insult, but that is due to the nature of the animal -
{Ha'DIbaH}, another insult! - not because of the suffix.)  

Another example from TKD (I've forgotten the page no.) is:

	{juHHom}	cottage
	{juH}			house, home
	{juH'a'}	mansion

The best example of all comes from SkyBox card S31:

	beyHom bey bey'a' jachtaH latlh tlhInganpu' 
	others [Klingons] roar in great crescendo

Of course, one of the glories of Klingon is that *anything* can sound like
an insult when said with the proper tone of voice and a sneer!

Ca'Non Master of the Klingons

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