tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Mon Jul 22 22:22:45 2002

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Re: To Have and Have Not (was "qel" yIqel )

ghuy'Do wa':
> >I'm not exactly sure, but that is an interesting topic,
> >and we should talkabout it at some point.
> >
> >DIch vIghajbe', 'ach Dajqu' qechvetlh, 'ej tugh wIqelnIS. {{:-)

*{DIch vIghaj} "I'm sure, I'm certain" and *{DIch vIghajbe'} I'm not sure, 
I'm not certain" are non-Okrandian idioms that have been used on this list 
for many years.  My notes have it flagged "Krankor".  Did he coin the 
phrase years ago based on a model from TKD?

Lawrence wrote:
>The first phrase here raises a red flag for me.
>"Have" is one those verbs (like "do" and "make") which so often take on extra
>duty in a language, but by no means all languages. Do we have canonical
>examples of Klingons "possessing" abstractions, or are all canon uses of
>{ghaj} limited to things one could grasp or hold or take ownership of?

Most examples of {ghaj} "have, possess" are, in fact, tangible objects:

   nIn 'ar wIghaj
   How much fuel do we have (left)? TKD

   butlh ghajbogh nuv'e' yIHo'
   Admire the person with dirt under his fingernails. TKW

   cha'maH cha' joQDu' ghaj qama'
   The prisoner has twenty-two ribs
   (idiom suggesting that the prisoner is somehow a bit strange) KGT

   qaStaHvIS wa'maH puq poHmey, wo'rIv betleH ghaj qorDu'Daj
   Worf's bat'telh has been in his family for ten generations. S8

but note this:

   pIch vIghajbe'
   It's not my fault. TKD
   (lit. "I don't have the blame/fault"!)

There's also this exchange from "Power Klingon":

   De' pegh vIghaj.  lI' 'e' Datu'.  'uQ wISoppu'DI' maja'chuq.
   I have secret information. You will find it useful. We will talk after 

to which the Terran responds with a secrecy proverb:

   Hov ghajbe'bogh ram rur pegh ghajbe'bogh jaj
   "A day without secrets is like a night without stars."

The Klingon's {De'} may or may not be tangible; i.e. he may just want to 
tell the Terran something after dinner.  Did the Klingon's use of {ghaj} 
remind the Terran of this particular proverb? (You'll also notice that his 
use of a proverb avoided having to answer whether or not he would meet with 
the Klingon!)

We also have the two odd "compound" qualities, {HoSghaj} "be powerful, be 

   tera'nganvaD romuluS HIq jabQo'.  HoSghajqu'!
   They won't serve Romulan ale to Terrans. Too potent! CK

   vay' DaghIjlaHchugh bIHoSghaj
   Fear is power. (TKW p.109)

   HoSghaj; mupwI' rur
   powerful as a hammer KGT

and {moHghaj} "unsightly":

   [unattested in canon]

Also note the slang phrase {tlham ghaj} "have gravity", that is, "have 
structure, order") which is used in parallel with {tlham Hutlh} "lack 
gravity" (i.e. "lack structure, order") [KGT p.165].

If {Hutlh} is the Klingon antonym of {ghaj}, then looking at how it's used 
may provide hints about {ghaj}:

   butlh DaHutlh
   You lack dirt under your fingernails. TKW

   HuH DaHutlh
   You lack gall (bile). TKW

   Hom Hutlhbogh ghab
   ghab that lacks bone KGT

   wa' joQ Hutlh ghaH
   He/she lacks one rib. KGT

   Huch DaHutlh
   You lack money. KGT

   Quch DaHutlh
   You lack a forehead. KGT

   DarSeqmey DaHutlh
   You lack money ("You lack darseks"). KGT

All tangible objects.  But note:

   quv Hutlh HoHbogh tlhIngan 'ach qabDaj 'angbe'bogh
   A Klingon who kills without showing his face has no honor. TKW

   'ang'eghQo' quv Hutlhbogh jagh neH ghobtaHvIS ghaH
   Only an enemy without honor refuses to show himself in battle. TKW

>We've come at this before in Klingon, if I recall correctly (and I'm sure
>several people will leap forward if I don't), in the instance of attributing
>age to someone. English and of course other languages use "be" for this (I am
>42 years old). Spanish and other languages use "have" (tengo cuarenta y dos
>My preference is to be more conservative with Klingon and not prescribe
>non-literal uses to verbs (like {ghaj}) unless I'm clearly speaking

Normally, I'd agree with you if we didn't have {pIch vIghajbe'} from 
TKD.  Perhaps {De'} "information", {quv} "honor" and {pIch} "fault, blame" 
are "semi-tangible".  You can have or possess {ghaj} them or you can lack 
{Hutlh} them.

The secrecy proverb might just be metaphorical but even so, if {ghaj} is 
only used with tangible objects - like stars (theoretically!) - it's still 
a bit odd that Klingons would say that the day has/possesses secrets.  Can 
you grasp a secret?

Ca'Non Master of the Klingons

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