tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Wed Aug 21 11:26:46 2002

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Re: KBLC: tlhingan <limerick>

ghel tulwI':
> >> quv'eghmoH quvmoHbe'lu',
> >
> > doesn't this have to be "quvmoH'egh"? :)

jang DloraH:
>-'egh is a type 1, -moH is a type 4.

Funny he should ask. Okrand discussed this very verb on st.klingon (11/97):

   Maltz reports having heard both {quv'eghmoH} "he/she honors him/herself",
   which follows the expected order (verb-Type 1-Type 4: {quv} "be honored",
   {-'egh} "oneself", {-moH} "cause") as well as the weird {quvmoH'egh}
   "he/she honors him/herself", in which the Type 1 suffix {-'egh} "oneself"
   follows the Type 4 suffix {-moH} "cause", an impossible formation unless
   the speaker is considering the verb to be {quvmoH} "honor" and not {quv}
   "be honored". Speakers who do this seem to be aware that they are breaking
   the rules, so they are doing it for rhetorical effect. (It has the same
   sort of feeling, perhaps, as if someone were to say in English "Don't
   cellular phone me this afternoon" or "I've been postnasal dripping all
   morning" or "It's lightninging and thundering outside" or, to follow the
   Klingon example, "He/she self-honors".)

BTW, phrases with this type of intentional breaking of the rules - called 
by some "nonce expressions" in English - are called {mu'mey ru'} by Klingon 

   Sometimes words or phrases are coined for a specific occasion, intentionally
   violating grammatical rules in order to have an impact. Usually these are
   never heard again, though some gain currency and might as well be classified
   as slang. Klingon grammarians call such forms {mu'mey ru'} ("temporary 
   Sometimes, {mu'mey ru'} fill a void--that is, give voice to an idea for 
   there is no standard (or even slang) expression; sometimes, like slang, they
   are just more emphatic ways of expressing an idea. A common way to 
create these
   constructions is to bend the grammatical rules somewhat, violating the 
norm in
   a way that is so obvious that there is no question that it is being done
   intentionally. To do this is expressed in Klingon as {pabHa'} 
("misfollow [the
   rules]", "follow [the rules] wrongly)". (KGT p.176)

However, be aware that

   Some speakers of Klingon never use such nonconformist constructions. 
Some use
   a few from a stock set. Others seem to be somewhat creative. Among Klingons,
   there is a fine line between creative use of the language and silliness,
   however, and Klingons are rather intolerant of the latter. Accordingly, the
   visitor to a Klingon planet is advised to avoid making such constructions
   until he or she is very well versed in Klingon culture. (KGT p.180)

Ca'Non Master of the Klingons

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