tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Fri Feb 01 16:07:01 2002

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A -moH suggestion

lab SuStel

>I'd like to suggest that /-moH/ shouldn't cause your brain to do backflips
>when trying to understand it.  These two sentences should "feel" the same
>when you read them:
>Qong yaS
>QoymoH yaS
>/Qong/ is a thing to do.  /QoymoH/ is also a thing to do.  /QoymoH/ doesn't
>have to be thought of as a thing that someone causes someone else to do.
>When you read /QoymoH yaS/, don't insert an imaginary /ghaH/ in there and
>mentally jump around the verb to understand it.  Just look at /QoymoH/ as
>another verb with a slightly different meaning than /Qoy/.  The difference
>in meaning is that they take different subjects and objects.  Don't think
>about one in terms of the other.
>This isn't to say that these ARE distinct verbs (Okrand has indicated that
>they're not), but to think in Klingon you should try seeing something like
>/QoymoH yaS/ as being just as simple as /Qong yaS/.

Absolutely.  vIlajchu', but you haven't said anything controversial 
yet.  Extend it. does it go anywhere useful?  Lets see.

vut SoS - Mother cooks.
QoymoH SoS - Mother makes-hear. (Pretending this isn't awkward in English).
ghojmoH 'aj - The admiral teaches. (This isn't awkward in English, because 
we happen to have a matching word.)

qagh vut SoS - Mother cooks gakh.
puq QoymoH SoS - Mother causes the child to hear.
HoD ghojmoH 'aj - The admiral teaches the captain.

Does that contradict your anti-backflips suggestion?  I don't know.  I'll 
assume it doesn't, and continue.

puqvaD qagh vut SoS - Mother prepares gakh for the child.

Perfectly in line with canon chaHvaD Soj qem yaS.

Now some would say:
puqvaD QoQ QoymoH SoS - ?Mother causes the child to hear music.
HoDvaD DIvI' tIgh ghojmoH 'aj - ?The admiral teaches the captain Federation 

That is a backflip, because in order to add something to the sentence, 
we've snatched the perfectly valid object of the verbs QoymoH snd ghojmoH 
out of the object position, and put in something that can't hear, QoQ, and 
something that can't learn DIvI' tIgh.

I think it's necessary that  X foomoHchugh A,  foo X.
puq vutmoH SoS ... vut puq
qamaw'moH ... bImaw'

So tlhingan Hol vIghojmoH wouldn't make sense.

So leave the original objects alone and just add something:
QoQvaD puq QoymoH SoS - ?Mother causes the child to hear music.
DIvI' tIghvaD HoD ghojmoH 'aj - ?The admiral taught the captain Fed. customs.

When the English word teach is used with both student and lesson, it's the 
student that moves out of the way for the lesson to be the direct object:

The admiral taught Fed. customs to the captain.

But the verb instruct, also a gloss of ghojmoH, doesn't work that way.

The admiral instructs the captain in Fed. customs.

-vaD may not be the best tool here.  Maybe ...

QoQ QoymeH puq, puq QoymoH SoS.
DIvI' tIgh SovchoHmeH HoD, HoD ghojmoH 'aj.
DIvI' tIgh'e' HoD ghojmoH 'aj doesn't look like a bad choice either.

So lets look at the prefix trick, the justification for some backflips:

SoHvaD taj vInob - I give the knife to you.
taj qanob - I give you the knife.

The knife is actually the thing that gets given, and it still sits in the 
object spot, it's just that the one is gets given to jumps over to be 
represented by the prefix.  You end up with a prefix that is not 
appropriate for the true object of the verb.  But it's all canon.

Third person objects aren't appropriate for the prefix trick, so I need new 

qagh qavut - I will prepare gakh for you.
muleghlaHmoH Hergh - the medicine makes me able to see.
qaleghlaHmoH Hergh - the medicine makes me able to see you.
puqpu' HoHmoH rop - the illness makes children kill
puqpu' nIHoHmoH rop - ?the illness makes children kill you

That's just weird.  Is it?  I dunno.  I'm not fluent in Klingon.  I've been 
studying it on and off since 1988, but I know I know practically nothing 
about it.

What was the ultimately ugly example?  "Mother causes father to give the 
boy the knife."

I think I can uncontroversially make all these pieces:
taj nob vav - father gives the knife
loDHomvaD taj nob vav - father gives the knife to the boy
vav nobmoH SoS - mother causes father to give
loDHomvaD vav nobmoH SoS - mother causes father to give to the boy

I'm really liking the idea that I could throw taj'e' in there somewhere and 
make the sentence work.  I can't justify it, though. I'd say:

vav nobmoH SoS.  loDHomvaD taj nob.

It's the same number of syllables as throwing in taj'e', and it's clear.

Okay SuStel, did I do backflips?  Did I violate anything?  Did I hijack 
your idea?  Will the Vancouver weather clear up long enough to get me back 
off the list and into the sky?

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