tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Thu May 16 09:42:53 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. 

This seems to be presented as if it were contrary to my assertion, when to my 
eye, it actually reinforces it. You just said that the {-Ha'} part of {nobHa'} 
refers to the action of giving and the object of the giving, and also the 
indirect object of the giving. The subject doesn't matter.

That's pretty close to what I said. I'm not arguing that {nobHa'} can't 
mean "take back". I'm just coming to a new understanding of {-Ha'} to finally 
understand how it could mean "give back" in the first place. I had previously 
had a faulty association of the subject and verb for {-Ha'} and {-qa'}. I speak 
of both of these suffixes because they both essentially refer to revisiting an 
action in some way. One repeats it. The other reverses it.

I thought that the subject was the one repeating or undoing the action, and 
suddenly, I realize that the action is important, but the subject isn't. You 
can always specify the subject; in fact you have to, in the prefix. Klingon 
gains a wider scope of expression when {-Ha'} and {-qa'} lose my previously 
misguided limit of associating the subject with the repetition or undoing of 
the action of the verb.

> 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.

The only rule I'm suggesting is that for the undoing or redoing of an action, 
if the action involves a direct object, it's more likely to be the undoing or 
redoing of the action to that direct object than the undoing or redoing of the 
action by the original subject.

Even in your example, the wrongness of your giving the weapon to me has less to 
do with you than with the weapon. It's the barrel facing me (an aspect of the 
direct object) that is wrong. This has very little to do with you. As I receive 
the weapon, I'm a lot more interested in the weapon and its direction of fire 
than I am in you or your generosity.

> 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. 

verenganvo' Huch nobHa' tlhIngan.

The Klingon takes the money back from the Ferengi.

verenganvaD Huch nobHa' tlhIngan.

The Klingon gives the money back to the Ferengi.

These examples don't seem very ambiguous about who is doing the giving back or 
taking, or who was the original donor and recipient. I don't feel like I need 
more context. Special contexts could be constructed to give these different 
meanings, but special castings could be created to more explicitly express 
those exceptional meanings.

> 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.

In this place, I think the context is simply replacing indirect objects that 
could have made each of these statements clear without the context:

be': SoHvaD tajvetlh nobHa''a' HoD?

loD: ghobe'. HoDvo' tajvam vInobHa', vIHoHDI'. vaj vInum'egh. DaH HoD jIHchoH! 
tajvam DaneH'a'?

be': ghobe'. jIyajchu', qaH. 

The noun suffix {-vo'} has, I believe, been sufficiently used in canon to be a 
directional counterpart for both {-Daq} and {-vaD}. I don't believe I'm pushing 
things to use {-vo'} to indictate this variation on the theme of indirect 

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

Still think so?
>         --Krankor


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