tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Thu Jan 28 08:52:51 1999

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Re: KLBC: Two IFs on one THEN?

On Thu, 28 Jan 1999 07:53:23 -0800 (PST) Terrence Donnelly 
<> wrote:

> At 06:38 AM 1/28/99 -0800, charghwI' wrote:
> >On Wed, 27 Jan 1999 20:09:12 -0800 (PST) 
> >wrote:
> >> This is where I believe Klingon differs from English.  In Klingon the suffix
> >> -chuq does not imply transitivity after all.  That is precisely why it takes
> >> the "no object" pronominal prefixes.
> >
> >Great. Now, show me just ONE example ANYWHERE IN CANON that 
> >shows {-chuq} used on an intransitive verb. I know *I* can't 
> >find one. It's a great theory. Show it in action, or give up on 
> >it.
> > 
> Thhat's not the point. 

It IS the point. Just because you want to ignore it doesn't make 
it not the point. There are no verbs used in canon with {-chuq} 
added to them that do not, in normal useage, have direct 

> The point is that the addition of /-chuq/
> changes the transitivity of the verb you add it to. 

You'd make a little more sense if you explained what the 
transitivity was before {-chuq} and what it becomes after 
{-chuq} so that we'd know what you mean by "changes the 
transitivity of the verb".

My point is that if a verb, like {Sum}, can't take a direct 
object in normal useage, it also can't take {-chuq}. I don't 
care about the prefix. That's an arbitrary convention. The 
MEANING of a verb with {-chuq} must be able to take a direct 
object. {Sum} can't, so it can't.

> That's surely
> why Okrand makes the point of telling us we must use the 'no object'
> verb prefixes. 

He may have arbitrarily made this choice because it was 
interesting to look at, and since there would never be an 
explicit noun acting as object of a verb with {-chuq}, why 
bother indicating an object with the prefix? The "no-object" 
prefix on a verb with {-chuq} becomes as fossilized as the "ne - 
pas" pairing in the French negative. It is just a convention 
with no deep meaning.

He was also setting up a tripwire for anyone who wanted to add a 
direct object to {ja'chuq} as the topic of what was being 
discussed. You can't do it with current grammar. "Discuss" is 
just a gloss and you can't use {ja'chuq} as if it literally 
meant "discuss" with the same direct objects that the English 
word "discuss" can take. The word "discuss" is there to help you 
look it up. It is easier to look up than "tell each other" or 
"talk to each other". The Klingon word cannot take as a direct 
object the topic. We have to work around that with {qel} or its 

> In English, we do indeed show the reflexive mode of
> a verb by a pronoun object ('each other'), but there's no reason to assume
> that English modes translate to Klingon.

It doesn't translate. Klingon does not give a separate word as 
object in this reflexive construction, but the POINT is that 
there is a limited set of verbs that can take {-chuq}, and all 
the stative, intransitive, adjectival verbs are excluded from 
that set. {Sum} is such a verb and cannot have {-chuq} added to 
it. That is what started this discussion, so that IS the point 
of this discussion. Attempts to redefine the discussion as an 
abstract theory on transitivity that doesn't address which verbs 
can or cannot take {-chuq} are, well, missing the point.

The point of THIS discussion was not intended to be a 
theoretical examination of the mechanics of {-chuq} which never 
actually touches on how {-chuq} is to be used. It was to help 
people pick out which words they could use with {-chuq} and 
which ones they can't. It is to help people speak the language 

Have I made my point yet?
> -- ter'eS

charghwI' 'utlh

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