tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Sun Jan 24 09:13:02 1999

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Re: v/t. --- v/i.

ghItlh muHwI':

>How can I know if a verb is transitive or intransitive?

Since you didn't put KLBC, and you know to do that, here I go.

There is only one way to be certain a verb makes any sense with an object,
and that is a canonic example. But we make educated assumptions from the
dictionary glosses whether or not an object is referred to.

>Am I right with this way of thinking:
>{legh} is transitive, because {vIlegh} makes sense.

<legh> is clearly OK as a transitive verb. Remember, it can also be
intransitive. Perhaps every Klingon verb can be used intransitively - and
the "perhaps" is just there to cover the surprise discovery - but not all
are useful transitively.

>?{Hegh} is intransitiv, since {vIHegh} is nonsense.
>(ignoring the fact that "die" in english can be both intr. and trans.)

"Die" transitive? Not in the dialect I speak. One can "dye" their hair, but
the word "die" is only int. as I have observed.

But <Hegh> is a fine example of a verb in Klingon which cannot take an
object. Add a <-moH> to it, however, and it is useful as a transitive verb.

Also, most verbs which are glossed as "be [v or adj]" take no object, but
not all. It gets very confusing, of course. The classic example is <Dub>.
The gloss gives no indication as to its transitivity. <Dub SuvwI'> - does
this mean "The warrior improves [becomes better]" and/or "The warrior
improves it [makes it better]"? Only through canon inspection can we say
that it is seen to be used transitively.


HIja'. bIlughlaw'.

>What about verbs used as adjectives?

If the verb is intransitive, it can fall into two categories. One is the
"state/quality" class. <Quch> "be happy" is one of these. So is <pI'> "be
fat". These are useful as adjective-use-verbs. The other class is the rest.
<bogh> "be born" is one, as is <mon> "smile". To say a thing is described by
these words a relative clause must be used. <tlhIngan pI'> "fat Klingon",
but <montaHbogh tlhIngan> "Klingon who is smiling".

Great questions, muHwI'.


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