tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Mon May 13 23:22:05 2002

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weather verbs' subject (was Re: middle voice)

ja'pu' Sean Healy:
> ...whereas in
> Klingon, we have to indicate morphemically that the subject is unknown.

ja' SuStel:
>There is one known possible exception to this.  We've often debated the
>correct usage of verbs indicating weather conditions: SIS, jev, peD, maybe
>one or two more I haven't thought of offhand.  What's the correct subject of
>these verbs?

I had the impression that the correct subject is so blatantly obvious that
stating it would be silly.  Asking what the subject is reveals a serious
lack of general knowledge. :-)

>Okrand, obviously in response to having heard about these debates, was
>reported by a list member to have looked up on a rainy day and announce,

"It rains."  That matches the way English treats such verbs.

>Based upon this, it would seem that when using these verbs, no subject is
>used.  This is just a guess based on flimsy evidence, but I don't see any
>reason not to accept it (there's no better evidence anywhere).  I would also
>guess that they don't take objects either, making the use of these verbs
>nearly restricted to exclamations.

I think you're remembering only a very small part of the evidence.  Here's
the actual quote from DloraH's "long weekend with MO":

>SIS.  In a way everyone was correct with this one.  It rained a few times
>during the weekend, so we were put into the situation to discuss it.
>All correct.
>SISlu', altho grammaticlly correct, he didn't particularly like.  Someone
>COULD use it but to me it sounds like they skipped science class and don't
>know what the subject is.
>You can also give it an object and say things like the clouds rained down
>cats and dogs. ...or something like that; you get the idea.
>But when Marc and I went outside and drops of water were falling on us, he
>looked up and simply said "SIS".

I don't have a problem accepting that, in general, no explicit subject is
*stated*, but it seems clear to me that the verb still does have a subject.

-- ghunchu'wI'

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