tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Fri Feb 22 22:49:00 2002

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Re: agentive -wI'

>Verbs with {-wI'} don't take prefixes. Get used to it. It's simply true.

tlhoy Damaq.  bIlughlaw', 'ach yIjotchoH.  woQ'a' Daghajbe' SoH.

After literally years of consideration -- check the list archives for
August 1995 if you want to see where I'm coming from -- I believe that the
suffix {-wI'} doesn't belong on a prefixed verb.  But I do recognize the
intended meaning of certain constructions, even while the usage strikes me
as being wrong.  Intentionally ungrammatical "poetic" usages are fun, and
sometimes they can be inspiringly beautiful, but they're still

The single point I'd like to make here is that "verbs with {-wI'}" are
NOUNS.  Nouns don't take verb prefixes.

The expected response is that the verb prefix can be there *before* the
{-wI'} is applied.  It's a valid counterpoint, but it has ZERO support in

>It sounds like what Lawrence is shooting for is a relative clause with no
>explicit head noun. So long as you only use prefixes to indicate the subject
>and object of the relative clause, you could tag {-wI'} on the verb instead of
>{-bogh} and then you could have relative clauses more like they are in
>so you wouldn't have to think like a Klingon anymore, since that apparently
>makes somebody's little head hurt.

Whoa there, pardner!  "Little head"?  Your zeal for keeping things like
this from getting out of hand got the best of you here.

This particular concept of verb prefixes with {-wI'} surfaces from time to
time, but it's almost never because of lazy thinking.  On the contrary,
it's usually because someone is *overthinking* the situation.  It's a nifty
possibility which isn't really a rendering of anything from English.
Unfortunately, it isn't obviously a rendering of anything from Klingon,

-- ghunchu'wI' 'utlh

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