tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Mon Feb 04 16:00:19 2002

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Re: KLBC: chay' mu'meyvam lo'lu'?

[Sorry to be so tardy in responding to these vocabulary questions.]

> {bup} is not attested in canon. I would use {mev} "stop, cease" which 
> is well attested in canon, usually as part of a SAO with {'e'}.

: vaj jIQaghlaw'pu'. For some reason I had marked {mev} intransitive in my 
: TKD. Or is it one of these verbs of variable transivity, like {So'}? Can 
: you say {jImev} "I stopped", or {jImev'egh} "I stopped myself", or both?

Yes, though I wouldn't say "verbs of variable transitivity".  That makes it
sound like a third class of verbs altogether.  

While transitive verbs can, or even usually, an object (e.g. "I'm reading The
Klingon Dictionary," "I'm eating gagh"), they don't have to (e.g. "I'm
reading," "I eat every morning").  In TKD Okrand says that the object-less set
of verb prefixes - i.e. jI-, bI-, etc. - are "used when there is no object;
that is, when the action of the verb affects only the subject (the "doer")" and
that they're also used "when an object is possible, but unknown or vague."

Intransitive verbs, however, never take an object (at least, not without adding
a verb suffix like {-moH} "cause").  Except for those defined as "be X" in the
glossaries - i.e. what Okrand calls "qualities" (sometimes called "stative
verbs" on the list) - we often can't tell by the one- or two-word gloss in TKD
or KGT whether the verb is transitive or not.  And to add to the confusion,
sometimes a verb which is transitive in one language is intransitive in another
and vice versa.  To be sure how each verb works in Klingon, we have to examine
how Okrand has used it in context.  

As for {mev} "stop, cease" we have clear intransitive uses:

  not mev peghmey 
  Secrets never cease. PK

  mamevQo'. maSuvtaH. ma'ov. 
  Battling on through the Eternal fight. (Anthem) 

a clipped pet command:

  SSS... mev! ba'! 
  Do not do that! Sit! PK 

and an imperative, apparently intransitive command:  

  yImev, yap!
  Stop! It is enough! KGT

[The {yI-} prefix is ambiguous; {yImev} could also be translated as "Stop it!
Stop him/her!"]

And finally there are a whole series of orders of the pattern { bI-[VERB] 'e'
yImev!} "Stop [VERB]ing!" where {mev} takes a Sentence-as-Object (SAO).  E.g.:

  bIjatlh 'e' yImev 
  Shut up! (Stop speaking!) TKD

  bIleS 'e' yImev 
  Stop relaxing! Stop resting! PK

  bIyev 'e' yImev 
  Stop breaking! Stop pausing! PK

  bIjatlh 'e' yImev. yItlhutlh! 
  Stop talking! Drink! TKW 

So, not only can you theoretically use {mev} with and without an object, we
have examples of both kinds of usage in canon.
> This one may be a problem.  None of the examples of {pegh} "keep something
> secret, be secret, classified" I know of take an object:

: Okay.  Perhaps the verb to use would be {So'}:
:   {jIrop 'e' vISo'}  "I kept it a secret that I was sick."
: Correct?

That works.  You can also say with the verb {rop}: 

  jIrop; ngoDvam vISo'. 
  I was sick; I concealed this fact.
  I concealed the fact that I was sick.

or use the noun {rop}:

  pegh ropwIj.
  My illness was a secret.
  My illness was kept secret.

or you can even add {-moH} "cause, make" to the verb {pegh}:

  jIrop 'e' jIpeghmoH. 
  I was sick.  I made it a secret.

> We also have the verb {buv} "classify".
: Could you clarify the usage of this verb too?  I thought it was "classify" 
: like "Linnaeus classified the world's species", not like "I couldn't get the 
: government records because they were classified".

The verb {buv} has never been used, but the noun {buv} "classification" has
appeared once in the BoP Poster:

  Hung buv rav: patlh Hut 
  classified level 9 and above KBoP

This is literally "security clearance('s) floor: level 9".  I read this as
meaning something like "minimum security clearance: level 9".  

Whether Okrand means classify in the Linnaean sense, the security sense, or 
both is unclear from only one example.  All that we can say for sure is that he
has definitely used it in the second sense.  Note that we also have {poj}
"analyze" for the first, and {pegh} "keep something secret" for the second.

Ca'Non Master of the Klingons

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