tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Mon Feb 25 12:41:27 2002

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Re: agentive -wI'

> jatlh SuStel:
> >It's almost like . . . ahem . . . verbs with /-moH/ have a . . . cough,
> >cough . . . status equal to that of . . . harumph . . . root verbs.  Almost
> >as if . . . ahem, cough . . . they're considered to be . . . cough . . .
> >separate concepts . . . cough, harumph . . . .
> If I remember correctly, MO stated in an interview with Will that Maltz had 
> heard <<quvmoHnIS>>, where the correct order would be expected to be 
> <<quvnISmoH>>. Is this further evidence for this type of usage?

Please note that in that interview, he said that while that sort of usage might 
happen and people would understand what was meant, the correct use would still 
be {quvnISmoH}. He also explained, for example, that {ghojmoH} is listed in the 
dictionary not because it is a different root verb from {ghoj}, but because 
people trying to find "teach" in the English-Klingon side of the dictionary 
might not think to look up "learn" and add {-moH}.

If it helps you understand how {-moH} works to think of a verb plus {-moH} as a 
separate verb root, fine. Meanwhile, don't overstate the significance of this 
idea as if it were some sort of universal truth that the rest of us should 
adopt in order to better understand the language. A lot of people deal with {-
moH} the same way they deal with all the other suffixes, and they speak the 
language just fine.

> As well, 
> let's not forget that the suffix <<-moH>> is alone in its class, so it's 
> obviously got *something* that distinguishes it from other suffixes; perhaps 
> this very feature is what distinguishes it.

I doubt it. Realize that a lot of features of language are arbitrary. There 
isn't always a rule behind every feature, nor is the origin of a feature always 
clear from looking at the feature.

> (Although this point actually makes the theory impossible, or nearly so, to 
> prove, since we have no counterexamples with any other suffixes of this 
> class. If you think my statement is a long stretch of the imagination, 
> please tell me why you think so, so that I can better formulate an idea of 
> what's happening with <<-moHwI>>.)

Did you mean {-moHwI'}?

What is happening with {-moHwI'} is that the resulting noun is something or 
someone who causes something else to do something or be something. Let's look 
at Okrand's examples in the vocabulary:

bochmoHwI' - sycophant, flatterer 

Literally, this means "shiner", or "one who causes something to shine". If the 
word had been {bochwI'}, it would have referred to the thing which shines, not 
the one who makes something shine.

chenmoHwI' - creater, maker

If the word had been {chenwI'} it would have referred to the thing which 
formed, not to the one who caused the thing to form. Perhaps {chenwI'} 
means "creation", as in "That statue was the sculptor's finest creation." Since 
Okrand hasn't actually listed the word anywhere or used it, I'm making a minor 
leap of faith to say this.

Hew chenmoHwI' - sculptor

Literally, this means "one who causes a statue to form".

najmoHwI' - lullabye

Literally, that means "thing which causes him/her/them to dream". {najwI'} 
would be the dreamer himself or herself.

ngaDmoHwI' - stabilizer (componant of a ship)

Literally, this means "thing which causes it to be stable".

wovmoHwI' - light

This one is interesting because of the approach to illumination. He doesn't 
refer to the light itself as being light or bright. Instead, it is that which 
causes OTHER things to be light or bright.

That's it for examples in canon. Does this help?

> Qapla' 'ej Satlho'
> ro'Han


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