tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Tue Dec 04 04:12:45 2007

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Re: Basic grammar question

QeS 'utlh (

I sent a response to this yesterday, and for some odd reason it seems not to have come through, so I'm going to try again.

ghItlhpu' Qang qu'wI', ja':
>That likely explains why I have an instinctive lack of fondness for
>the 'prefix trick' (too much like English). I've pretty much adopted
>a philosophy of not using it.

Of course, that's your prerogative.

For my part, I've done exactly the opposite: I've taken Okrand's blatant Englishism and generalised it to cover phrasings that couldn't be well handled in English. I choose to let what SuStel called the "prefix trick" be able to work on *any* verb that has a {-vaD}-marked object. I've written things like {DujwIj chotI'} "you fixed my ship for me" in Klingon that would be awkward at best and outright ungrammatical at worst if phrased the same way in English (?"you fixed me my ship"?). Of course, the fact that *any* such prefix trick construct can be replaced with a noun marked with {-vaD} means that you're in no way limiting yourself by choosing not to use the prefix trick. The choice is entirely up to you. 

(Personally, I feel that usage of the suffix {-vaD} as a dative, rather than as a benefactive - which, according to TKD (see p. 28), is what it strictly is - is a more concerning Englishism than the prefix trick, and I prefer to express purely dative arguments with the prefix trick where I can. Just my two cents.)

QeS 'utlh
tlhIngan Hol yejHaD pab po'wI' / Grammarian of the Klingon Language Institute

not nItoj Hemey ngo' juppu' ngo' je
(Old roads and old friends will never deceive you)
- Ubykh Hol vIttlhegh

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