tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Tue Sep 10 16:42:17 2002

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RE: HeghmeH QaQbogh jaj yIngu'

> >>>  yIyep! yIqar!
> >>
> >> Hee hee!  bIjatlhnISbej <yIyep'eghmoH!  yIqar'eghmoH!>
> >
> > what's the difference?

>In KLINGON FOR THE GALACTIC TRAVELER, Okrand says that when verbs of 
>quality are used imperatively, they normally use /-'egh/ and /-moH/.  
>They only lack these in the idiom /yItaD/ "Freeze!" which means "Stop 
>moving!"  (Perhaps there are other idioms or situations in which you'd 
>leave off the /-'egh/ and the /-moH/, and no doubt someone will point 
>out some line by Okrand in which this was done, but KGT makes it pretty 
>explicit that when verbs of quality are used imperatively and 
>non-idiomatically, they are also reflexive and causative.)

> Here's the quotation from KGT (p.117):

     yItaD! or petaD! ("Be frozen!")

   These are idiomatic ways to give the command "Don't move!" The word
   {yItaD} is used when speaking to an individual; {petaD} is used when
   giving the command to a group. The verb {taD} means "be frozen," and
   it is used here in a peculiar, though not really ungrammatical, way.
   Generally, when a verb describing a state of being (for example, {tuj}
   ["be hot"]) is used in the imperative form, the suffixes {-'egh}
   (reflexive suffix) and {-moH} ("cause") are used as well:
   {yItuj'eghmoH} ("Heat yourself!"that is, "Cause yourself to be hot!"),
   {yItaD'eghmoH}! ("Freeze yourself!"--that is, "Cause yourself to be
   frozen!"). When {taD} is used in the idiomatic sense of "not move,"
   however, it is treated as if a verb describing an activity, such as
   {yIt} ("walk"): {yIyIt}! ("Walk!").

I don't think it's quite as clear cut. Many verbs obviously describe a
"state of being", and require <-'egh> and <-moH>, and many obviously
describe an "activity" and can be used imperatively without the added
suffixes. But there is definitly a gray area. What about <Dugh> - "be
vigilant".  Would a Klingon consider being vigilant to be a state or an
activity? What about <yoH>, which we've seend used in <QaghmeylIj tIchID,

This is related to the question of whether a verb can be used adjectivally,
but I'm not sure it's the same thing. There may well be a class of verbs
like <Dugh> that can be used adjectivally, but are also considered active
enough to be used imperatively without the <-'eghmoH>. Or maybe not. Maybe
<Dugh> cannot even be used adjectivally.

This is one of those little details of a natural language (or a language
that plays one on TV) that can probably never be nailed down precisely with
a rule, but every native speaker just knows. Until I actually meet one and
get corrected, I'll continue to put <-'eghmoH> on <tuj> and other obviously
stative verbs, which I know to be correct, but I may leave it off of <Dugh>
and other similar verbs.


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