tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Fri Feb 22 14:25:54 2002

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RE: agentive -wI'

From: Dr. Lawrence M. Schoen

> . . . 

> Rather, my position is simply that you can 
> put a prefix on a verb with {-wI'} because 
> we actually *do* have examples of it. It's 
> simply that those examples have all been 
> verbs with the null (0) suffix associated 
> with third person singular or plural.

> That's the premise I work from. That a 
> simple construction like {HoH-wI'} "killer" 
> is really {0-HoH-wI'}.

> When we look at a verb in a Klingon sentence, 
> we don't say "oh, there's no prefix, I wonder 
> what  person it is." We *know* that a verb 
> without a prefix is third person, that it 
> actually carries the null prefix.

> When we add the Type-9 suffix {-wI'} to a verb 
> in the typical fashion, we don't first stop 
> and say "wait, I must remove the null prefix." 
> Nor does Okrand say that we do. No special 
> provision is made for {-wI'} to even hint that 
> it operates differently than its fellow Type-9 
> suffixes.

But two of its fellow Type-9 suffixes *do* operate differently. I believe I am remembering correctly that Okrand has said that verbs with <-ghach> can never take a prefix. The suffix <-meH> is also a bit weird. There was an excellent HolQeD article on <-meH> a while back, and you should reread it. Phrases like <ghojmeH taj> don't behave like normal verbs. A <ghojmeH taj> is not a "knife in order that he/she/it/they learn", with an antecedent somewhere, which is what we would expect if <ghojmeH> were like a normal verb with a null prefix. The <ghojmeH> is modifying the noun, talking about learning in general.


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