tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Sun Jul 18 09:00:00 1999

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Re: vav jaj

On Sat, 17 Jul 1999 12:47:49 -0400 Christiane Scharf 
<> wrote:

[HovqIj responding to charghwI']...
> I understand your point. You're arguing that {HeghmoH} is one of those words
> like {ghojmoH} that are only in the dictionary for the English speaker's
> convenience. {ghojmoH} is only in the dictionary so that somebody can find
> the word for "teach" easily.
> However, there's a difference between verbs like {ghojmoH} and {HeghmoH}.
> The two possible translations of the {ghojmoH} class verbs both are verbs
> that describe an action, and they're both transitive: {ghojmoH} is
> translated literally ( {ghoj} + {-moH} ) as "cause to learn" and it's also
> glossed as "teach".
> In contrast to that, the two possible translations of {HeghmoH}, "cause to
> die" ( = {Hegh} + {moH} ) and "be fatal" are grammatically different: the
> first is transitive, since all verbs with the suffix {-moH} are transitive,
> the second is intransitive, since all stative verbs are intransitive.

I'll point out that {ghojmoH} is not "always transitive". I 
honestly believe that in this case, Okrand is offering a 
definition so that people can figure out what word to use for 
"be fatal". "That poison is fatal." {HeghmoH tarvetlh.} If he 
meant anything other than that, then he has thusfar passed up a 
couple excellent opportunities to point this out. He did 
explicitly say that {lo'laH} is a special case and while he 
reserved the right to declare other special cases, if this is 
one, he neglected to think of it at the time. It is definitely a 
prime candidate, but I still think it is presumptive to use it 

> So, if only the first meaning applied, I would never be able to use the "be
> fatal" translation" when I would translate a Klingon sentence.
> For example: {jagh HeghmoH HoD} - "The captain causes the enemy to die" /
> *"The captain is fatal the enemy"????

HeghmoH tar.

If you wanted to say, "The poison is fatal" odds are a beginner 
would never think of using {HeghmoH}. I think this is the reason 
this word is in the dictionary. You can still use {HeghmoH} with 
an explicit direct object to mean what you seek. Okrand is not 
restricting {HeghmoH} to mean only what it is called in the 
dictionary. He is adding a meaning. The question is, is 
{HeghmoH} a separate word from {Hegh+moH}? Only Okrand can 
answer that and so far he hasn't.
> But the "be fatal" translation is clearly there. So there must be cases when
> {HeghmoH} is used as a stative verb. And stative verbs can be used as
> adjectives. So I think I'm allowed to use {HeghmoH} as an adjective.
When I asked Okrand about {Hop} taking a direct object, he made 
a point of stating that verbs are not sometimes stative and 
sometimes transitive. {Hop} can't take a direct object. Instead, 
its point of spacial reference can be moved with a locative.

The one exception to this that he established is {lo'laH}. He 
did this by the exceptional means of stating that {lo'laH} is a 
totally separate word from {lo'} which just happens to be 
spelled exactly like {lo'+laH}. You can still use {lo'} plus the 
suffix {-laH}, but while it is a homonym, it is not the same 
word and functions differently.

You want to declare this same exceptional status for {HeghmoH}. 
You could be right. Meanwhile, it is simply a level of 
presumption that I'm drawn to reject until there's confirmation.
> Thus, I suppose that {Hegh+moH}and {HeghmoH} are two different verbs, maybe
> etymologically related, that just happen to be homonym.

This is a very reasonable, rational argument. Unfortunately, 
language is not always reasonable and rational. If it were, then 
in English, "sheveled" or "heveled" would be a word, since 
"disheveled" is a word that clearly has the prefix "dis" 
attached to it. The sentences "I could care less" and "I 
couldn't care less" should have opposite meanings, but they are 
used interchangeably. You want an exception and it is a very 
tempting one, but I really want Okrand's clear explanation of 

Obviously, this should go on the Okrand wish list we are 
supposed to compile this coming week.
> HovqIj


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