tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Thu Feb 21 16:57:37 2002

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Re: Secret information?

charghwI' kicked me again. I know I'll regret this but...

Okrand declared that {lo'laH} was a root verb and not just {lo'} plus the 
suffix {-laH}. This is the ONLY apparent verb-suffix combination that he has 
declared a separate word. He reserves the right to make similar declarations in 
the future, but it appears that he is very loathe to do this in general and 
prefers, even with words like {ghojmoH} that we'd LIKE to think of as root 
verbs to instead keep them as root plus suffix, so "I must teach you" remains 

The whole reason he made this really big exception for {lo'laH} was that he 
discovered that he had accidentally goofed once and used {lo'laH} adjectivally. 
Since {lo'} has also been used with a direct object, this created a conflict 
Okrand could only resolve by backfitting a new verb root {lo'laH}.

Okrand clearly does not like having a single verb that can be used both 
transitively and adjectivally. I doubt that {pegh} deserves to be the only 
example of such a verb.

If it is, I suspect it will be declared that there are two DIFFERENT homophonic 
verbs, one of which is transitive and the other of which is adjectival. That 
would still make this a weird, exceptional verb, but less so than making it the 
only verb that is both adjectival and transitive.

Basically, it makes {pegh} and {peghmoHtaH} mean exactly the same thing. If I 
have secret information, it is {pegh}. If I keep that information secret, I 
{pegh}. Two verbs, one sound. Weird, but plausible.

I guess Maltz is being secretive about the proper use of {pegh}.

But let's consider another possibility. The adjectival form of an intransitive, 
stative verb doesn't always have exactly the same meaning as the intransitive 
use when translated into English. The two uses of {meQ} fit this, since 
adjectivally, it means "be burnt", but intransitively, it means "burn". Don't 
be tempted to use {meQ} transitively. That would be {meQmoH}.

I suspect the two different uses of {pegh} may similarly behave in a way we may 
not have considered. Maybe if it follows a noun, it means "be secret", but if 
it has a subject, it means "keep something secret", but perhaps it can't take 
an object. That would resolve everything in a way similar to {meQ}.

Think of it as having a meaning somewhere between "be secret" and "be 
secretive". I can be secretive, but I can't be secretive some information. The 
information itself is related to being secretive. Maybe the Klingon verb has a 
meaning that doesn't quite fit either of these English glosses. So long as it 
can't take a direct object, it is not a grammatical problem in Klingon. If it 
does take an object, it becomes something Okrand has gone to great pains to 
avoid in the language.

I'm not making declarations here or judging anyone or any ideas. I'm just 
offering something for people to think about.


> From: "Steven Boozer" <>
> > >Thus, {De' pegh bu' matlh} would be "The loyal sergeant keeps the
> information
> > >secret."
> >
> > Although I -really- like this, I'm not sure it's allowed.
> Bah.  A lack of example usage is insufficient to declare a definition in TKD
> void.  We have seen waffly verbs before (e.g., meQ "burn" or "be burnt"),
> why can't /pegh/ be one of these?  For what it's worth, I fully accept and
> endorse peHruS' sentence.
> And as you pointed out, we DO have an example of /pegh/ with the transitive
> meaning:
> pegh vIttlhegh.
> A proverb keeps things secret.
> Just because the example doesn't employ an object doesn't mean it can't have
> one.  The verb still means "keep something secret," not "be secret."
> > Although *{peghmoH} may be grammatically
> > possible, Klingons may prefer using the verb {buv} instead.
> That's like saying that all humans like root beer because Chief O'Brien
> likes root beer.  It's a tremendous generalization based on a single
> example.
> SuStel
> Stardate 2142.6

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