tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Tue Oct 01 16:58:13 2002

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Re: The ol' transitivity thing again

From: "Alan Anderson" <>

> ja' SuStel:
> >The most likely situation (to me) is that Klingon does not have an
> >set of transitivity rules.  A word might be used transitively or not.
> >words may not be able to be used transitively.  I don't think the choice
> >transitivity is inherent in the word.
> >
> >/Qong/ "sleep" is pretty clearly used only intransitively.
> That sounds inconsistent.  If the word {Qong} doesn't have an inherent
> transitivity, how can you say its use is only intransitive?  Or, the other
> way around, since we're rather certain that {Qong} is used only
> intransitively, how can you deny that it has an inherent transitivity?

I didn't say that /Qong/ didn't have an inherent transitivity.  I said that
Klingon may not have an absolute set of transitivity rules.  There may very
well be a specific word that has a specific set of allowed usages, but these
usages only apply to that particular word.

Basically, I'm calling into question the practice of saying such-and-such
verb "is transitive" or "is intransitive."  We can see whether a given verb
is "used transitively" or not, but something makes me feel that the concept
of transitivity in Klingon is less clear-cut than a simple label.

Stardate 2751.3

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