tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Thu Nov 21 17:11:02 2002

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Re: RE: QeD De'wI' ngermey

From: "...Paul" <>
> 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.

This is all irrelevent: I'm not denying any of this.  What you did was to
say that /QamtaHvIS Hegh/ "He dies while standing" was legal, so therefore
*/QamtaHvIS Hegh/ "death while standing" would be grammatical as the A or B
element of a law'/puS sentence.  I disagree with this: in the first phrase
/Hegh/ is a verb; in the second it is a noun.

> 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?

Of course.  We have a number of examples that show us that a law'/puS
construction is on equal footing with a main OVS.

The difference between "sentence" and "verb" in Klingon is not that much.
For instance, the so-called "sentence conjunctions" really join VERBS, not
sentences (and in the past I've produced as many as eight canon examples to
prove this, so I don't want to have to do it again!).  I have no problem
with verbal phrases being subordinate to a law'/puS sentence.  I DO have a
problem with them being subordinate to a noun (except in the case of

> Right, but /'oy'/ CAN be used adjectivally -- or are you saying it can't?

I'm saying we don't have conclusive evidence, thus I brought up the

> TKD defines /'oy'/ as "be sore".  This, to me, would be the same as /QaQ/
> as "be good".

I tend to BELIEVE that /'oy'/ is qualitative, but I can't prove it.  You
can't pick one part of a definition and use that as the basis for its
grammar; the entire definition must be considered.

"Ache" and "hurt" are things that happen, not qualities.  "Be sore" is a
quality.  So what makes you so certain that /'oy'/ MUST be a quality, and
not a thing that happens?

> 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.

Alternatively, YOU might be confusing the fact that in English, "sore" is an
adjective, and therefore must be a quality in Klingon.

I'm not saying it's one or the other.  I'm saying we need evidence, and that
would only come about as (a) an adjectival use, or (b) use in a law'/puS
sentence.  We don't have either.

>  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".

I'm not talking about the difference between transitivity and
intransitivity, I'm talking about the difference between action and quality.

Here's an example.  I'm sure we all agree that /QaQ/ "be good" is a quality.
What about /QaQchoH/ "become good"?  Is that a quality?  I assert that it is
an action: it is something that happens, not a quality.  I don't believe
that */lut QaQchoH/ "becoming-good story" is a grammatical construction,
even though /lut QaQ/ "good story" is.

Another example: we have the phrase /qetbogh loD/ "running man" in TKD.
What we DON'T see is */loD qet/.  Even though /qet/ is intransitive (you
can't /qet/ something in Klingon), it is an action, not a quality.

So my point is, thanks to the odd definition in TKD, we don't KNOW for sure
whether /'oy'/ is an action or a quality.

One more weird entry in TKD: /HeghmoH/ "be fatal."  This is probably just a
convenient look-up for the word "fatal," much as /ghojmoH/ is included for
anyone who looks up the word "teach."  But while "be fatal" is a quality,
/HeghmoH/ is almost certainly simply /Hegh + -moH/, and that means it's not
a quality.  You probably can't say */yIH HeghmoH/ "fatal tribble"; you have
to say /HeghmoHbogh yIH/ "tribble which is fatal."

> choQochbe''a'?

Ack!  Don'tcha mean /bIQoch'a'?/

Stardate 2891.1

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