tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Fri Jun 14 06:12:28 2002

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Re: subjectless verbs

ja' Andrew Strader:

  > The pragmatics which motivate -lu' are the subject being unknown or
  > unimportant to the discourse context. So presumably "merlu''a'" was
  > used when it was just the situation in general that caused the surprise
  > reaction. Personally, if I saw someone write "mer'a'" without a subject
  > it would leave me feeling curious as to what the surprising thing was.
  > So my take is that you use -lu' when you want to force attention off of
  > the subject.

  > I have previously considered using -lu' on verbs in the way you are
  > alluding to, as follows:

  > ??SISlu'.
  > It rains.
  > ??Hurghlu'.
  > It is dark.
  > ??Dallu'.
  > It is boring.

  > But that might be overkill in many cases. I don't think there's any-
  > thing inherently wrong with leaving a subject implicit when it refers
  > to a generic situational referent. As DloraH pointed out, SIS is so
  > used by Okrand. For clarity, you can always say:

  > SIS muD.
  > Hurgh naDev.
  > Dal ghu'.

  Daj. I feel quite comfortable using that plain unsuffixed verb in
  reaction to your message. Such usage is common on the list and, as you
  suggest, has a basis in canon. But what exactly is it that I find
  interesting? Some particular idea of yours, the complete message, my own
  thoughts in response, or our conversation as a whole? I'm being just as
  vague as the eminent Klingonist who wrote {merlu''a'}. You feel that
  {mer'a'} would imply a quite specific subject (and I admit to the same
  feeling), but what makes it different then from {Daj}? You also suggest
  that {mer'a'} might differ only in placing more "attention" on the
  implied subject. Here the problem is that if all verbs are allowed to
  behave in this manner, then {-lu'} becomes optional in most of the places
  we're used to seeing it. A matter of style. So, returning to 'ISqu''s
  question from a different angle, is there any way of limiting the number
  of such verbs?



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