tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Tue Dec 28 10:44:58 1999

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Re: Verbs of Motion

On Mon, 27 Dec 1999 08:40:48 -0500 David Trimboli 
<> wrote:

> The verbs which Okrand claimed have a special relationship with their
> objects in HolQeD Vol. 7 No. 4 are
> ghoS
> jaH
> leng
> paw
> These, Okrand says, act just like {jaH}.
> He also lists several other verbs.  When asked about {bav}, Okrand says "You
> don't need a {-Daq}.  Just use whatever it is that you are orbiting."  Does
> this mean that it ISN'T one of these special verbs?
> When subsequently asked about {Dech}, Okrand says "Same thing."  Does this
> mean "Same as {bav}?"  In fact, there are several verbs which are the "same
> thing."
> bav
> Dech
> ngaS
> vegh
> 'el
> Note that Okrand says you can say {pa'Daq vI'el}.  This suggests that {'el},
> which is one of the "same" verbs, does this funky object thing too.  Thus,
> all of the ones listed might.

There are certainly a lot of different ways to interpret this. 
In my usual conservative way, I'll tend to not use this annoying 
{-Daq} at all on direct objects in this kind of setting, going 
back to the very first reference to it in TKD. It is acceptable 
to say {vengDaq vIghoS}, but it has exactly the same meaning as 
{veng vIghoS} and I personally like this latter choice much 

These are verbs which DEFINITELY can take nouns as a locative 
reference without {-Daq} as their direct objects. It MAY also be 
true that you have the option of adding {-Daq}, though there is 
no compelling reason to do so, making it a superfluous syllable, 
which is not a common feature in Klingon.

Taking this attitude, I don't have to worry about whether these 
two lists combine as one or not. Unless you choose to add an 
unnecessary {-Daq} to the direct object of these verbs, it 
doesn't matter which list they are on. You can suffer a lot of 
angst worrying about which of these lists a particular verb 
belongs to or whether or not the two lists can be combined, or 
you can acknowledge that a dubiously optional {-Daq} is 
sometimes allowed, though you don't need to use it and then all 
these verbs work just fine and you don't need to even remember 
which one belongs on what list.

I accept but dislike the use of {-Daq} on nouns acting as direct 
objects of verbs. Since I don't need to use them and can get 
exactly the same meaning without {-Daq}, I just don't use the 
{-Daq} and I can sleep well with one less thing to worry about.

I tried to be as focussed as possible during the interview, 
though I've always accepted that I would fail to make some minor 
point clear. The fact that this interview has been published 
this long before this particular argument got raised suggests 
that maybe it wasn't such a bad interview after all.
> It's unclear whether these two lists should be joined.  Personally, I hate
> this part of the interview, for reasons which Captain Krankor brings up in
> HolQeD Vol 8, No 1.  It breaks everything we thought we knew about Klingon.

That's a blatant exaggeration. It does not break everything we 
thought we knew about Klingon. It doesn't have anything to do 
with {-meH} and we've known a lot about {-meH} for quite some 
time now. It doesn't have anything to do with the verbs {Sov} or 
{Sop} or {jatlh}. There are a LOT of things about Klingon that 
this does not break.

You have a simple truth. Speak it. Don't refer to a spilled 
drink as if it were an Earthquake.

Okrand expanded on what he said about {ghoS} way back in the 
original TKD. That's all. It did surprise many of us and many of 
us didn't like it very much, but to say that it breaks 
everything we knew about the language is pouty and silly. Let go 
of it. I thought Krankor was a bit overly zealous in his 
disaproval in his article and I feel comfortable saying the same 
about you now. You are a good person with a lot of impressive 
talents and an impressive skill with the language, and you are 
taking this one point entirely too seriously. You could let go 
of it and have a happy life. You choose to experience your angst.

> I don't know about everyone else, but I am getting the distinct impression
> that Okrand doesn't have a strong handle on Klingon (whoever claimed that he
> does?), and simply cannot maintain consistency.

I think that is quite unwarrented. I think Okrand spent a lot of 
years not memorizing his own vocabulary and not practicing the 
use of his own language such that it took work for him to make 
any meaningful sentences. His successes were many, but he also 
tried sometimes to be especially alien or interesting and came 
up with some really weird stuff he should appropriately be 
embarrassed by, like his first translation of "I'm lost. Where 
am I?". Meanwhile, there are many things he simply has not 
fleshed out yet and as a particular area of the grammar or a 
particular area of meaning becomes interesting to him and he 
develops those areas, he will definitely sometimes make choices 
we would not have made.

I would not have chosen to put {Hoch} in front of nouns it 
modifies, since it is classified as a noun and not as a number. 
I would not have chosen to put {-Daq} on a head noun of a 
relative clause to act as a locative for the main verb, creating 
the ugly ambiguous mess we now have, all for the sake of two 
example sentences we didn't really need. There are many things I 
would have done differently.

Meanwhile, it's not my language. I'm the dancer. He's the 
musician. I can't change the tune. I can only change the way I 
dance to it.

To be honest, you sound like someone who just wants to be upset. 
Something else is bothering you and you don't want to deal with 
it, so you pick this to get worked up about. It definitely does 
not deserve this much attention. Just forget {-Daq}. When other 
people use it, wince and move on. This works. Trust me.

I mean, I was interviewing Okrand for over an hour. As a stream 
of verbs he was considering, he listed {'el} as one that doesn't 
use {-Daq} on its direct object, and you caught him in another 
instance saying that it could use {-Daq} on its direct object. 
That is really the only inconsistency you have uncovered here, 
and it is really a rather small thing, considering that you can 
leave off the {-Daq} and your problem evaporates.

I honestly doubt there are many areas in your life where you 
exhibit the kind of consistency you are now expecting Okrand to 
hold to. Lighten up on the man. This stuff is fun, remember?

> SuStel
> Stardate 99987.9
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: James R. Johnson <>
> To: <>
> Sent: Monday, December 27, 1999 12:43 AM
> Subject: Verbs of Motion
> I was recently trying to remember which verbs act like ghoS and jaH, and I
> can only remember chegh and paw.  Are there any others (such that something
> like X-Daq jI-Y means "I Y in the X" or X-(Daq) vI-Y means "I Y to the X")?

In the second example, you can always omit the {-Daq} and have 
exactly the same meaning. You can then use all of the verbs 
SuStel lists above, regardless of which of the two lists that 
verb is on.
> Telleres


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