tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Wed Feb 10 21:21:59 1999

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Re: VS1, VS4, VS5

ja' Holtej:
>Here's a grammatical question; I'd like to hear people's opinions.  What do
>you make of this:

Um...I think it's weird, that's what I make of it.  I can force myself
to read it as "I am made to hit myself" or "one causes onself to hit me,"
but neither of them is particularly obvious.  It's the {-'egh} and {-moH}
together on a transitive verb that mess with my mind the most.

>VS1 {-'egh} requires a no-object prefix, while VS5 {-lu'} requires a prefix
>indicating a third-person singular object.  Contradictory requirements, but
>there's nothing explicitly ruling out {-'egh} with {-lu'} (or is there?).

This *should* be impossible.  I think the "must have object" and "must not
have object" requirements make them fundamentally incompatible, except for
the fact that {-lu'} on an intransitive verb (quSDaq ba'lu''a'?) has no
object either, and {-'egh} can almost be seen to make a verb effectively

>Now, throwing that {-moH} in there really makes it fun.

That's where it leaves the realm of useful constructions and enters the
realm of counting the energy beings performing calisthenics on a perfect
spearhed. :-P  Generally, {-moH} is useful on intransitive verbs to give
them a transitive meaning; substituting {ba'} for {qIp'egh} gives a very
reasonable {vIba'moHlu'} "one makes me sit".

>It feels like a
>perfectly fine sentence meaning "one causes me to hit myself," (those darn
>{HoSDo'} again!), but strictly speaking it should be ungrammatical.

It does feel that way, and I think anyone marginally fluent in Klingon
would understand it, even if it breaks the letter of the rules we know.
It might be a legitimate exception -- or it might not.

>nuq boQuv?

<nuq boQub> DaghItlhHa'ta' 'e' vIQub.

-- ghunchu'wI'

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