tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Wed May 15 17:35:12 2002

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-Ha' (was: RE: help with "Floreat Majestas")

Thank you Will.  Very interesting.  It does open the mind somewhat.  I'm
not convinced, however, that this mismatch with English is caused by a
focus on the direct object.  Rather it seems to me that the focus is on
the results.  I never before quite got how -Ha' had two meanings that
seemed so different to me (undo & do wrongly).  Now, suddenly, by
shifting my focus to the results and their absence, I feel that I have a
deeper understanding.  I will show you what I mean.

If I give a book to you, it is {SoHvaD paq vInob.}  Following the
Ferengi example, {jIHvaD paq DanobHa',} means, "You give the book back
to me."  Here nobHa' translates as, "give back," but perhaps it could
also be used to mean, "take back."  I could say, {SoHvo' paq vInobHa',)
which would translate into English as, "I take the book back from you."
The point is that the giving is no longer done.  Will's focus on the
direct object seems to come from the changes that these verbs cause in
that direct object (in this case ownership).  It doesn't matter who the
indirect object or the subject is or what changes have occurred in the
direct object.  It just matters that the result of {nob} is made no
longer true by {nobHa'}.  Now, here's where it got interesting for me.
{SoHvaD paq vInobHa'.  ghajlaw' be'nallI'.}  "I mis-gave you the book.
Your wife must have it."  The intended result of {nob} (that you would
have the book) is not true and so instead I use {nobHa'}.  What's
important isn't who the book is going to or who it is coming from, but
rather the fact that the result is no longer or never was true.

Will's examples with a rope show it even more clearly by removing the
indirect object.  When I tighten a rope, {tlhegh vIQeymoH,} you could
then come along and loosen it, {tlhegh DaQeyHa'moH.}  However, I might
have mis-tightened it, {tlhegh vIQeyHa'moH.}  What is similar about
these two examples of {QeyHa'moH} is that in both cases the expected
{QeymoH} became untrue.

To continue to narrow the confounding factors even more, let's remove
the direct object (of which Will also shows an example).  When I sit,
{jIba'}.  Then when I stand I could say, {jIba'Ha'}.  My "sitting" is no
longer true.  I might also say, {jIba'Ha',} if I were laying across a
chair, since "sitting" would be inaccurate.

Please don't get caught up in my action/reaction type examples.  There
doesn't need to be an original action for -Ha' to mean that the action
is untrue.  However, there does seem to be an expectation that the
original verb was a possibility and instead is lacking.  For example
{naDHa'} means that whatever praise and approval one might have expected
is lacking.  {Do'Ha'} means whatever one might have considered lucky or
fortunate is not there.

Now, what about -qa'?  I see this in much the same way.  I would think
that it can be used whether it is the subject repeating/resuming the
action or whether the action is instead repeated/resumed on the object.
{tlhIngan HoD HIv 'ej HoH verengan.  lop verengan ghIq tlhIngan yaSpu'
HIvqa'.  luHoHpu'DI' HIvqa' verengan latlh.}

So what do y'all think of that?


P.S. while writing examples with paq I just happened to realize that it
sounds just like the first syllable of POCKet BOOKs (the publisher of
TKD).  Hmm.  J.C.

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