tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Wed Jun 23 07:43:21 1999

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Re: KLBC: summer's in, school's out

At 12:25 AM 6/23/99 -0500, ghunchu'wI' wrote:
>ja' "Nelson Lamoureux" <>
>>It's interesting to note that klingon gives
>>us a tool (basically the -Hom/-'a' suffixes) to make these subtle semantic
>>difference on the lexic without changing the basic meaning of a word.
>I've always considered that those suffixes *do* change the basic meaning
>of a word to some extent.  They tend to modify the *word*, not the thing
>the word refers to.  The Bird of Prey poster does weaken my interpretation
>a bit with its translation of {-'a'} as "main" in a few places, and the
>idioms about {bo'Daghmey} also can be troublesome to my understanding.
>But I'm still going to try to avoid using {-'a'} and {-Hom} as if they
>were descriptive terms like {tIn} and {mach}.

I agree that these suffixes should not be substitutes for {tIn} and
{mach}; why bother with separate verbs if they are?  Besides the BOP
poster, there are a few examples in TKD which also seem to just mean "a 
greater/lesser example of (word)".  I think maybe the confusion lies
in our translations.  To Klingons, maybe words with these suffixes _do_ take
on different meanings, in the same way that a verb with various verb
suffixes (esp. {-be'}, {-Ha'}, {-moH}) is in a sense a different verb
to the Klingon mind than the unsuffixed one.  But these distinctions
don't map directly onto our terran languages.  In some cases, 
the closest translation will be a phrase ("a big wind"), in other
cases, it will be a different word ("a gale").  In different languages,
the choices would be different.  

I guess my point is that Klingons just have words whose meanings are
modified by suffixes.  The question of whether these are "new" words
or phrases modifying the original word is not a Klingon question, but
a terran one.

-- ter'eS

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