tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Tue Jun 11 11:53:40 2002

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Re: Vaj'Hom

Sangqar wrote:
>>The 'or' in Okrand's phrasing would indicate that you can in this case 
>>(judging by the standard usage of commas in conjunction with 'or' in 
>>American English).  As a further indication, consider the idioms 
>>{bo'DaghHom lo'} and {bo'Dagh'a' lo'} and the deifnition for {Qa'Hom} 
>>(type of animal (similar to a {Qa'}, but smaller).  These seem to 
>>indicate that {-Hom} and {-'a'} can mean 'small' or 'big', respectively.
>HIvqa' veqlargh!  Skip that last example; a {Qa'Hom} is not just a {Qa' mach}.

Good; you've thought it through.  I like to think that {-Hom} and {-'a'} 
represents a "quantum" difference, as it were, from the unsuffixed 
form;  i.e. a significant change of scale rather than mere variation in 
size.  Examples of all three forms in canon:

   juH     home, house
   juHHom  cottage
   juH'a'  mansion

   Qagh     error, mistake
   QaghHom  minor error
   Qagh'a'  major blunder

   SuS     wind, breeze
   SuS'a'  strong wind
   SuSHom  wisp of air

A few more examples of contrasting pairs:

   be'     female, woman
   be'Hom  girl

   bIQ     water
   bIQ'a'  ocean

   chob     corridor
   chob'a'  main corridor

   Duj     ship, vessel
   DujHom  shuttlecraft (i.e. "boat"?) [properly {lupDujHom}]

   loD     man
   loDHom  boy

   mang     soldier
   mangHom  cadet

   mupwI'     hammer
   mupwI'Hom  mallet (for striking a musical instrument)

   nuH     weapon
   nuHHom  small arms

   ngoD     a fact
   ngoDHom  a bit

   pIn     boss
   pIn'a'  master

   roj     peace
   rojHom  truce, temporary peace

   toy'wI'     servant
   toy'wI''a'  slave

   van     salute, tribute
   van'a'  award

   vaS     hall, assembly hall
   vaS'a'  The Great Hall

   woQ     authority, political power
   woQ'a'  ultimate power

   veng     city
   vengHom  village, settlement

   yuQ     planet
   yuQHom  planetoid

Yes, there is often a difference in size, but notice too that it's more 
than that.

You can further modify some of these nouns with the qualities {mach} "be 
small" and {tIn} "be big, be large":  {juH mach} "a small house", {juH tIn} 
"a big house", {juHHom mach} "a small cottage", {juHHom machqu'} "a tiny 
cottage [shack?]", {juH'a' mach} "a small mansion", {juH'a' tInqu'} "an 
enormous mansion [villa?, palace?]", etc.  Combining these suffixes with 
various qualities allows for great subtlety in a very few words.

Beginners are often beguiled by {-Hom} and {-'a'} - probably (as Lawrence 
suggested) because it is so different from English - forgetting the proper 
use of {mach} and {tIn} completely.  Fortunately, this effect usually wears 
off as they become more familiar with the language.

Ca'Non Master of the Klingons

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