tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Thu May 16 01:18:08 2002

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

Since others have made some of the comments I wanted to make about Will's
-Ha' analysis, I'll just touch briefly here.

My assertion is that the fact that we have a dictionary entry of nobHa'
as "give back" does not in any way, shape, or form indicate that it can't
also, in the right context, mean "take back".  Indeed, both versions talk
about the same essential action:  a thing previously given by A to B now
going back to A.  The only difference is who is invoking this action.  We
already know -Ha' covers a fairly broad range of meaning, certainly I see no
reason why it isn't broad enough to cover both of these cases.  After all,
we *know* that nobHa' already absolutely has more than one meaning, because
of the possible "do wrongly" meaning of -Ha'.  For instance, suppose I were
to hand you a firearm with the barrel *facing* you, a major safety boo-boo.
It would be entirely appropriate for you to exclaim "DanobHa'!"  In short,
the presence of one definition does not, all by itself, exclude other meanings
which follow from the known rules of grammar.  Which means you are building
your whole case out of half an example.  Your ideas are definitely thought
provoking and interesting, but that's not *nearly* sufficient evidence upon
which to infer a major rule like that.

I would have absolutely zero problem with using nobHa' as either "give back"
or take back.  The very nature of the verb almost forces the necessary
context to be pre-existing.  That is, to talk about un-giving, it pretty
much assumes that we know who gave what to whom in the first place.  And
that context makes it pretty gosh darn easy to understand which meaning of
nobHa' one is going for.  Indeed, I could easily see the following dialogue:

be':  tajvetlh vIghov!  HoDvaD Danobpu'!  'oH nobHa''a' ghaH?

loD:  ghobe'.  vInobHa' jIH.

As someone (ghunchu'wI'?) said:  I think you're over-thinking it.


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