tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Fri Feb 01 18:54:14 2002

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Re: A -moH suggestion

From: "Qov" <>
> Absolutely.  vIlajchu', but you haven't said anything controversial
> yet.  Extend it. does it go anywhere useful?  Lets see.

Every time I say something controversial, I get burned or misunderstood.  I
figured I'd tease someone else into taking the fall for me.  Thanks!  :-D

> vut SoS - Mother cooks.
> QoymoH SoS - Mother makes-hear. (Pretending this isn't awkward in


> 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.

One might half-translate this (Okrand has been known to explain things this
way) just to make the point: "Mother /QoymoH/s the child."  It's not
important here that mother causes the child to /Qoy/, or that it means the
same thing.  I'm just talking about how to think about it more naturally.

> 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.

It does not.

> 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
> customs.

I wasn't necessarily trying to prove or show anything about this particular
controversy, though it certainly does tie in with it.

> 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.

What's even more of a backflip is the ability to READ (or speak ) these
sentences without mentally saying "Okay, /puq QoymoH SoS/ is really '/SoS/
causes /puq/ to /Qoy/,' and /Qoy/ is 'hear,' so /SoS/ causes /puq/ to hear,'
etc.  /SoS/ does /QoymoH/ to /puq/.  Once you get the hang of this, you stop
worrying about ditransitivity and other such things, and just try to figure
out what the best object is for the verb.

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

nuqjatlh?!?  Qov'e' SoH, qar'a'?!?

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

Ya' know, it's my stance that just because we can say it in Klingon doesn't
mean we have to be able to say it the same way in Klingon.

> 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?

I don't know about the weather, but I agree with just about everything you
said.  It's more specific than I was being; my point was to try to get away
from "Y causes X to verb" mentality, and back to "X verbs Y," even if "verb"
has /-moH/ on it.  It's simply that /V/ and /V-moH/ have different meanings,
and so have different subjects and objects.  I believe that thinking in this
way brings you closer to comprehending the Klingon sentence in Klingon,
rather than translating it first into English, even if you're thinking with
Klingon vocabulary.

Stardate 2089.0

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