tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Tue Jun 08 07:25:07 1999

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Re: causative

QeHHoS wrote:

: And how do we say "You will die on your knees'

This part is easy:  Turn the noun phrase "on your knees" into a verb phrase
"while kneeling".  It turns out that this was heard in the movie ST6:

  QamvIS Hegh qaq law' torvIS yIn qaq puS!
  Better to die on our feet than live on our knees!

It was also included in TKW, where Okrand translated it literally:

  "Dying while standing is preferable to living while kneeling."

Commenting on the odd use of {-vIS}, Okrand says (TKW p.95),

  "The grammatical construction is a bit aberrant; one would expect
  {QamtaHvIS} and {tortaHvIS}. In proverbs, grammatical shortcuts
  are not uncommon."

In real life it's possible that the actor - or whoever typed his script at
Paramount - simply ommitted {-taH} by mistake and the director either didn't
notice it or didn't want to bother refilming the scene.  Since you're not
quoting a proverb, just say:

  bItortaHvIS bIHegh.
  You will die on your knees.
  ("You will die while you are kneeling.")

I want to think about your questions on causatives a bit more.

Ca'Non Master of the Klingons

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