tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Sat Feb 06 09:59:31 1999

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Re: Dreaming in Klingon

Perhaps the ca'non master will verify this.  Spirits can speak and take the -wI'
suffix.  Referring to your dead captain, you are probably either referring to
him when he was still alive, or in his current state as a disembodied spirit.
Both would take the -wI' suffix, is my guess, and the lifeless body itself,
deserves no further consideration (-wIj).

- tuv'el

Dr. Lawrence M. Schoen wrote:

> I had another dream in Klingon last night. I don't think Kahless was there,
> but rather it was probably a result of chatting on the phone with Captain
> Krankor for an hour earlier in the evening.
> The reason that I mention it is because in the dream a grammatical question
> came up. I don't know that there's a right or a wrong answer, but I thought
> I'd post it and get input from wiser voices than my own.
> We know of course that the rule for when to use -wI'/-wIj hinges on the
> question of whether or not the object in question possesses language. I've
> always liked this rule because it reminds me of the classic Cartesian
> argument that language is a requirement for a soul, and that anything
> without language is not human and just an animal at best (the implications
> for prelinguistic children and mutes are left as an exercise for the
> reader). Now, here's my question:
> How would you refer to a person -- say for example, your captain -- if that
> person was dead? Would you use -wI' or -wIj?
> If you take the position that the captain was capable of speech while
> alive, and that such an attribute should be considered permanent once
> applied, then you'd go with -wI'.
> But if you go with the comment established in TNG that a lifeless body is
> just a shell and possesses nothing of the original owner, then I imagine
> you'd use -wIj, with no insult implied to your captain, because here's not
> there any more, that's just his body.
> This has probably been asked and answered before, but I just woke up, and
> the Klingon dream is still ringing in my head, so I thought I'd better post.
> Lawrence
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