tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Wed Feb 20 23:32:55 2002

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Re: A -moH suggestion

From: "Alan Anderson" <>
> ja' SuStel:
> >There's absolutely no funny business going on here.  It's all by the
> >no additional grammar necessary.
> I would be happy to agree, were it not for the {Ha'quj} sentence.  You
> willing to dismiss it as a valid example of usage.

I was talking about /tuQ/ and /tuQmoH/, not the heritage problem.  You
claimed that /tuQmoH/ had an "apparently exceptional definition," and it was
this I was addressing.  I wasn't trying to explain or refute anything about
the heritage problem in the post you have quoted, beyond my belief that
their apparently unexceptional-after-all definitions disqualify them as
evidence in support of unusual heritage grammar.  You continue to argue
about something I wasn't even talking about.  You also didn't comment on my
analysis of the three verbs /tuQ/, /tuQmoH/, and /tuQHa'moH/, beyond
implying that you disagree with it.

It's like the (possibly fallacious) argument about the evolution of birds'
wings.  The argument goes something like this: they started out with legs,
and ended up with wings, so supposedly there must have been an intermediate
stage when they had semi-developed wing-legs.  They couldn't fly with these,
so why would they end up as wings at all?

Whether or not you believe the evolutionary argument, the situation is
similar.  There is no middle-step in constructing a sentence where you have
to figure out what to do with an object that no longer fits.  You don't
start with

jabbI'ID Qoy HoD,

then add /-moH/,

**jabbI'ID QoymoH HoD,

before putting in a causer and moving the doer.  There is no such middle
stage.  Either someone /Qoy/s something, or he /QoymoH/s someone.  One
doesn't become the other in a single verbal clause.

> I'd rather use it as a
> window into the way Klingon grammar works when {-moH} appears on a verb
> which already has an object.

And thus my point.  If /-moH/ appears on the verb, then the word you're
calling its object wasn't really its object, was it?  It was its object when
there WASN'T a /-moH/ there.  A sentence is not first one way and then
another.  (And if it were, that sure sounds like leapfrog to me.)

> >Again, just look at basics, and stop
> >trying to leap about the root verb.
> I'm unable to grasp those two commands simultaneously.  The root verb *is*
> the basis for the sentence, is it not?  I think it's a lot more basic to
> treat the verb suffix {-moH} as a modifier than to grok it as creating a
> new concept.

And *I* find treating it as a mere modifier and thus necessarily changing
the entire underlying structure of the sentence less simple than simply
seeing it as a different concept and keeping the original, basic structure

I'll try this one more way, in case I can allow you to see how to grasp
them.  Analyze how one parses the basic Klingon sentence:

First you hear the person or thing the action is done to.
Then you hear the action.
Finally, you hear the person or thing doing the action.

Consider a sentence like /yaS qIp puq/.

The person the action is done to is /yaS/.
The action done is /qIp/.
The person doing the action is /puq/.

Now consider a sentence like /HoD QoymoH QumpIn/.  I would analyze this as:

The person the action is done to is /HoD/.
The action done is /QoymoH/.
The person doing the action is /QumpIn/.

The way you describe things, you seem to see the sentence as such:

The thing the action is done to is unspecified.
The person doing the action is /HoD/.
The action done is /Qoy/.
The person causing the doer to do it is /QumpIn/.

If this is how you hear the sentence when it is spoken to you, then I
maintain that you do in fact alter your understanding of sentences which
employ verbs with /-moH/.  This analysis does not match the way one
understands the basic Klingon sentence, but if you look at /QoymoH/ as a
single action, and not an action plus a causation, the analyses match.  As a
new concept, the sentence is not changed, THE GRAMMAR TO CONSTRUCT IT IS NOT
CHANGED (whatever it ultimately is), but our FEELING for how the sentence
works has.  It now works for us the same way as any other sentence.

And once more (how many times is it now?), to be sure: I AM NOT TRYING TO

Stardate 2141.5

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