tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Thu Nov 21 12:40:21 2002

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Re: RE: QeD De'wI' ngermey

On Thu, 21 Nov 2002, David Trimboli wrote:
> > Ah, but the clauses aren't modifying the nouns.  would not { QamtaHvIS
> > Hegh ghaH } be legal for "He died while standing", since { Hegh } is also
> > a verb?  Now if you removed the optional { ghaH } you get exactly what you
> > said is not possible...
> Bzzt.  Sorry.  Thanks for playing.

I'll take "I'll never get it right" for $200, Alex.  :)

> You can justify ANYTHING by saying you're going to drop words.  "It's
> Clipped Klingon!"  "It's a dropped pronoun!"  That just doesn't work.  In
> this case, if you're removing an optional /ghaH/ from /QamtaHvIS Hegh ghaH/,
> that means you're removing /ghaH/ from */QamtaHvIS Hegh ghaH QaQ law'
> tortaHvIS Hegh ghaH QaQ puS/, and that makes no sense.  You can't have
> sentences in the A and B slots in a law'/puS sentence!

My point was that for the limited example of { QamtaHvIS Hegh } (ignoring
for the moment that it might be part of a law'/puS thing), it is actually
legal.  If it was a fragment of { QamtaHvIS HeghDaj qIH } it's still legal
because even though { HeghDaj } is obviously playing the role of a noun
this time, { QamtaHvIS } is a clause to the sentence itself.  The fact
that the clause is adjacent to the noun does not mean that it's modifying
the noun.  Relative clauses modify nouns, but { -vIS } is a Subordinate
clause, and can appear before or after a sentence.  It can never modify a
noun, but then, its purpose isn't to do that.

Now, I'm not saying I'm right about my law'/puS construction, but I don't
see a good reason why a subordinate clause could not appear in that
construction -- I could see an argument that only ONE subordinate clause
could be in there, where it modifies the whole:

wISoptaHvIS SoH chuS law' jIH chuS puS
"When we're eating, you're louder than I am."

Would you consider that legal?

> People sometimes justify violating the rule of not having a Type 5 noun
> suffix on a noun-noun construction by saying they dropped the verb from a
> sentence.  (E.g., "/mIvDaq vIghro'/ is just clipped from /mIvDaq vIghro'
> tu'lu'/!")  Bah.  That's nonsense.

Yeah, I wouldn't buy that either.  Verbs are key to Klingon, I would never
consider dropping them before other things...

> > I can see the confusion with the fact that { 'oy' } can be a noun as well
> > as a verb, but given the construction, isn't the verb form implied?  Given
> > that, the { vIjatlhtaHvIS } isn't modifying a noun, it's a clause
> > modifying the sentence...
> You've missed my point.  All verbs cannot be used adjectivally.  Only those
> describing a quality can.  You can't say */loD qet/ (though you CAN say
> /qetbogh loD/ "running man"), but you can say /loD QaQ/ "good man."

Right, but /'oy'/ CAN be used adjectivally -- or are you saying it can't?
TKD defines /'oy'/ as "be sore".  This, to me, would be the same as /QaQ/
as "be good".

> So is /'oy'/ "ache, hurt, be sore (v)" an action ("My leg hurts") or a
> quality ("My leg is sore")?  I'm pretty sure we don't have any evidence one
> way or the other.

I think perhaps you might be confusing the fact that in English, "sore" is
an adjective, but "ache" and "hurt" are verbs -- but you can infer that if
something "is sore", it is actively performing the action of "aching" or
"hurting".  It seems pretty clear that /'oy'/ is a quality verb, even
though you could express it in English as an intransitive verb.  I could
see some confusion in the TKD E->K section because "hurt" is listed as
/'oy'/, and if that's the only translation you look at, you could believe
it was the transitive verb form like in "You hurt my feelings".  But
looking at the rest of the mappings, it's also "ache" (which is
intransitive in English) and "be sore" (an adjective).  All put together,
I think there's a good case that /'oy'/ is a quality verb in Klingon,
making it valid for use in the law'/puS construction.

So, ignoring the /-taHvIS/ thing, it would seem this would be correct:

nItlhDu'wIj 'oy' law' nachwIj 'oy' puS
"My fingers are more sore than my head."



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