tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Sun Apr 07 14:34:59 2002

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Re: "be'be'" - double negation

> jatlh Christoph:
>  > you were talking about a double negation(be'be').
>  > ...
>  > IŽd like to know why you want to use "be'be' "?
> jatlh DloraH:
> >I find it interesting how this thread evolved.  The original question asked 
> >if -be' could follow more than one suffix, ie:  muHoHbe'vIpbe'.  I saw no 
> >problem with that.  But somehow this got changed and people think I said it 
> >was ok to use -be'be'.
> jIghItlhpu' jIH.
> charghwI' suggested that there is always another way around such sentences 
> as this one - my example, <<muHoHbe'vIpbe'>>, "he is not afraid to not kill 
> me" (better: I am not afraid to leave you alive), could also be written 
> <<muHoHbe' 'e' chenvIpmoHbe'>> "He will not kill me. He is not afraid to do 
> that." It's wordier, but it conforms to canon better.

charghwI' feels like he's being paraphrased enough that he asked me to speak 
for him, since this discussion involves a lot more English text than he cares 
to wade through. charghwI' and I both feel like {-be'be'} is almost never a 
good idea and can be recast, but we don't really see a problem with 
{muHoHbe'vIpbe'}. It is efficient and expressive and not all that ambiguous. 
Meanwhile, I see your alternative suggestion as a curious use of the verb 
{chen}, and {-be'} is pretty clearly misplaced in {chenvIpmoHbe'}, since I'd 
translate it as, "He is afraid to not cause that to form."

If you feel a need to break this out, I'd say:

muHoHbe'taH 'e' wIvvIpbe'.

He is not afraid to choose that he continue to not kill me.

Maybe a little neater:

not muHoH 'e' wIvvIpbe'.

He is not afraid to choose that he never kills me.

> IMHO, even though charghwI' has strongly said that he'd rather not see it 
> used, I, personally, don't want to see it dismissed out of hand. There may 
> be situations in which such a construct may be useful, and maybe there's 
> some stylistic factor we don't know about yet. But I will be using it *only* 
> if we do get confirmation - all I was doing in that message was asking 
> whether or not any canon evidence existed to that effect. Like QAO, it just 
> isn't worth the argument if another way around exists. :)

While chargwI' and I often make this argument about other contentious points of 
grammar, I don't think we've ever applied that argument against this point of 
grammar which neither of us considers to be controversial. This is the way with 

1: I like lunch.

2: I consider pretzels to be lunch.

1: I don't like pretzels.

3: So, why does 1 dislike lunch?

1: I didn't say I didn't like lunch. I said I DID like lunch.

2: Did you hear that 1 is calling 3 a liar?

4: So, why does 3 not like lunch?

5: I hear that 1 and 3 are forming a new society based upon the banning of 

6. Did you hear that 2 ate 1's lunch? Well, I understand he at least ate all 
the pretzels...
> BTW, I have also had a sentence containing <<not>> and the suffix <<-be'>> 
> vetoed; hence, the double negative <<-be'be'>>, one after the other, 
> probably isn't a good idea.

THAT is usually just a mistake. Likely, that's what I wrote about earlier. In 
some languages (and English slang dialects) the "double negative" in "I ain't 
never goin' there again," is an emphatic, rather than a logical reversal of one 
negative by the other. It has the opposite meaning of "I will never not go 
there again." So far as we know, Klingon always adhere's to the logical string 
of negatives reversing each other rather than emphasizing each other. That's 
really the nugget in the middle of this confused thread.

> Qapla' 'ej Satlho'
> ro'Han


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