tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Mon Feb 04 16:42:34 2002

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

jatlh Voragh:
>: 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 
>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")" 
>that they're also used "when an object is possible, but unknown or vague."

I understand this as it pertains to verbs like {laD} and {Sop}, where the 
transitive and intransitive uses do not change the nature of the activity.  
Whether {jISop} or {qagh vISop}, I'm still putting something in my mouth.

If you simply told me {mev} was transitive, I'd assume it worked by this same 

{yaS vImev}  "I stop the officer."  He's walking by and I grab him by the arm.

{jImev}  "I stop (something)."  It could be the officer, a ship, or even 
myself, but the sentence doesn't make it clear.  I would not think this had 
the usual meaning of the English "I stop" (I'm walking down the corridor and 
then come to a halt), excluding all other meanings.

From the explanations I've heard about {mev} and {So'}, it sounds like they 
_do_ behave as a third class of verbs altogether.  Unless, when {jImev} is 
used to mean "I come to a halt", it really is just the intransitive 
counterpart of {vImev} "I stop him", and the meaning is understood to be 
{jImev'egh} because that's how it's most often used.

It's the same thing with {So'}.  I don't understand why {vISo'} means 
something besides me is hidden, but {jISo'} means I am the one who's hidden, 
except that it's the way it works in English.


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