tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Fri Aug 02 09:22:06 2002

Back to archive top level

To this year's listing

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next]

RE: Wales-vo' jIcheghpu'

> >> pIghDaq Dochmey law' leghlaHlu'.
> >
> >-laH and -lu' are both type 5 suffixes.

tulwI' (sts.):

 > What is /-la'/
 > I can't find that suffix  (did you mean /-law'/)

No.  {-la'} "one can" is an artificial slang suffix described in KGT (p.181):

   Among those suffixes that can never occur together are {-lu'} (indefinite
   subject indicator) and {-laH} (can, able). The former is used when the
   subject is unknown or indefinite, often translated into Federation Standard
   by means of the passive voice: {jagh jonlu'} ("One captures the enemy",
   or "The enemy is captured"). The latter is used to express ability: {jagh
   jonlaH} ("He/she can capture the enemy"). If it is desirable to express
   the ideas of "indefinite subject" and "ability" at the same time, such as
   in the sentences "One can capture the enemy" or "The enemy can be captured",
   it is not uncommon to use the noun {vay'} ("somebody, anybody") as the
   subject of the sentence: {jagh jonlaH vay'} ("Somebody can capture the
   enemy", or "Anybody can capture the enemy"). Nevertheless, some speakers
   seem to want to put the two concepts into a single word, and, on rare
   occasion, they will do so. Rather than violating the rules by using the two
   suffixes sequentially (that is, {-lu'laH} or {-laHlu'}), however, these
   speakers will say either {-luH} or {-la'}, employing totally artificial,
   made-up suffixes formed by fusing {-lu'} and {-laH}, as in {jagh jonluH}
   or {jagh jonla'} ("The enemy can be captured"). No one accepts such
   constructions as grammatical; their inappropriateness, the way they grate on
   the Klingon ear, is exactly what gives them elocutionary clout. A visitor
   may hear one of these odd suffixes occasionally, but, as with other
   intentionally ungrammatical forms, it is best to avoid using them until one
   is extremely comfortable with the nuances of Klingon style.

Ca'Non Master of the Klingons

Back to archive top level