tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Sat Jan 26 17:40:24 2002

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RE: qepHom, qep, qep'a'

ghItlh voragh:

>Good idea for an article.  I'm NOT volunteering, but for some time now I've
>noticed that almost all learners (as well as some old hands) prefer to use
>{-Hom} and {-'a'} in preference to {tIn}, {mach}, etc. for *all*
>differences in
>size.  Perhaps this is because people find the suffixes exotic and fun to play
>with, while the qualities feel too much like boring old adjectives.

I've noticed this as well. I suspect part of the problem is because
although these two suffixes have potential for creating some *very*
interesting subtlties of meaning, the guidelines for using them (or more
accurately, comprehending the nouns they create) are vague at best.

Any such article would probably need to begin with a listing of all N-'a'
and N-Hom words defined in canon, and perhaps some patterns would emerge
which might provide more guidance than TKD 3.3.1. Yes, such an article
would defintely need to be done by a master of canon...

This also feeds into some of the things I like best about Klingon:
expressing ideas that are difficult to express in English. This is one of
the reasons that -Ha' is my favorite suffix, because it so readily produces
semantically bizarre expressions (from an English perspective). -'a' and
-Hom have the same potential, though the danger of being misunderstand and
shattering our fragile mutual intelligibility is greater.

What, for instance, is meant by a HovHom? Is it a protostar? A planet that
didn't have quite enough mass to become a star? A very low magnitude star
that might not be visible to the naked eye? What's a SID'a'? A truly
patient patient? A hypochondriac that's always at the doctor's? A person
with a great deal of medical insurance? These are the kinds of things I
want to ask Maltz (at least about Type 1 noun suffixes)! What are the
patterns of usage in traditional Klingon society?

>Of course this is more a question of connotative vs. denotative meaning for
>Klingon learners, not "real" Klingon speakers.  Whoever writes that article
>will probably want to interview Maltz. <g>

Actually, I disagree, though it may sound odd after my rant above. This is
one of those few examples where it would be most interesting to examine the
kind of connotative meanings that have emerged from Terrans who have
acquired Klingon. Granted, there are few of them, but even so certain
patterns of usage, agreed upon connotations, preferences among synonyms,and
so on, have appeared.

A couple examples:

1) the general preference for using HIja' for "yes" (despite the
potentially ambiguous homophonous imperative) over HISlaH. [Personally, I
prefer HISlaH, and I've noted that Tad seems to as well. Hmm... maybe its a
Pennsylvannia thing.]

2) choosing to use pI' over ror (or vice versa) for "be fat" when I know of
no denotative distinction between the two.

Certainly there are more, but these quickly leap to mind.

Hmmm.. the more I think on this, the more the researcher in me wants to
design a study to actually map these patterns of usage. Hmm...


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