tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Mon Oct 11 13:23:38 1999

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Re: RE: Mu'mey chu'

What?  The basic, on-target, vanilla meaning of {-qu'} is "emphasis."  The
basic, on-target, vanilla meaning of {-'e'} is "emphasis."  These are in

Additions such as using {-'e'} to satisfy certain grammatical
disambiguations, or using {-qu'} for "very" or "too much," are secondary.
They are not primary to the meaning of these suffixes.

This not a new idea at all.

GRAMATICALLY, {tujqu'choH QuQ} means "The engines become HOT."  The "hot" is
emphasized.  The correct INTERPRETATION for this sentence is "The engines
become TOO hot."  It is not "The engines become hot, as opposed to cold."
This interpretation is not part of the grammar, it is part of common sense.

Likewise, grammatically, the sentence {pIHoHqu'vIpbe'} means "We are not
afraid to KILL you."  The "kill" is emphasized.  The correct interpretation
for this sentence is "We are not afraid to kill you (although that doesn't
say anything about being afraid to do something else to you besides killing
you)."  An incorrect interpretation would be "We are not afraid to kill you
a lot."  Another incorrect interpretation would be "We are not afraid to
kill you too much."

Notice the passage on TKD p. 49 that reads, "The rover {-qu'} 'emphatic'
(section 4.3) may follow verbs functioning adjectivally.  In this usage, it
is usually translated 'very.'"  I'm certainly willing to accept this
translation for verbs that aren't being used adjectivally, but it's just the
TRANSLATION that changes, not the meaning of the sentence or the grammatical
function of the suffix.  {-qu'} is {-qu'} is {-qu'}.  It means what it
means.  How you choose to interpret what it means is another story.

And let us not forget about poor {-'e'}, which more often than not gets
stuck policing other grammatical structures, without much meaning of its
own.  Its PRIMARY meaning is that the noun is the topic of the sentence, the

Stardate 99777.5

----- Original Message -----
From: William H. Martin <>
To: <>
Sent: Monday, October 11, 1999 11:23 AM
Subject: Re: RE: Mu'mey chu'

> This is the first time I've ever heard anyone suggest a link
> between what {'e'} does to nouns and what {-qu'} does to verbs
> or verb suffixes. It is an interesting thought, though I'm not
> sure you aren't placing too much emphasis on an idea that is
> slightly off target. In {tujqu'choH QuQ}, I doubt seriously that
> the engineer means, "The engines are becoming hot, as opposed to
> cold or noisy or some other verb. Yes, they are definitely hot
> and only hot."

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