tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Sat Jan 30 23:00:20 1999

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Re: transitive verbs

ja' Ray McGettigan <>:
>i was  at the last kli meeting and every one one was talking about
>transitive verbs.  I had no idea what they were talking about because
>they beraly tried to teach us.

Sorry about that.  Transitivity is a common concept when dealing with
languages, but occasionally some of us forget that not everyone has
enough background to know all the terminology.

>Well now i know and the verb  would
>"just" be transitive if it have a noun after a action verb.

That's pretty close.  A transitive verb can be thought of as one which
describes an action that affects something besides the subject.  "Sit"
and "be cold" are not transitive, but "take" and "fill" are.  One does
not "be cold" something, but one does "fill" something.

Many transitive verbs can still be used without an explicit object, in
an intransitive-like way.  "Eat" is a common example.  "I eat meat" is
just as reasonable as a simpe "I eat."

>i do not
>see what was hard about that unless it was adding a suffix to it (god
>forbid verbs need more suffix's

The difficulty isn't with the concept of transitivity in general.  The
problem is in deciding how we can use some Klingon verbs.  For a long
time, we didn't know whether {Dub} "improve" or {ghor} "break" were to
be used with an object or not; examples have now shown that these both
do take objects (making them transitive).  We still aren't sure about
{tlhe'} "turn" (because of a lack of examples) or {choH} "change" (we
have contradictory examples, none of which are explicit).

The trouble exists because English often uses words like these in both
ways.  "The girl turned" and "The girl turned the globe" work, making
no distinction in the verb even though the thing that changes direction
is different in the two sentences.  Klingon has a verb suffix, {-moH},
that makes distinctions like this explicit, so we usually expect that
Klingon verbs don't do double duty the way English ones can.  Sometimes
we are surprised, like when {mev} and {tagh} are used both ways with
no clear preference for one over the other.  But in general, there is
one correct interpretation of verbs like {ghor}, even if we can't tell
which one it is by the simple definition "break" before we see it in a
sentence like {pIpyuS yIghor} "break a pipius!".

-- ghunchu'wI'

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