tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Sun Dec 23 07:48:43 2007

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Re: "to-be" + <<-bogh>>

QeS 'utlh (qeslagh@hotmail.com)



ghItlhpu' Doq, ja':
>I'm just not finding {<>-bogh} all that interesting. The
>issue for me is that I don't see pronouns as taking a full set of verb
>suffixes. There are quite a few that have either no functionality or
>really weird, mysterious possibilities.
>jIH'egh?
>maHchuq?

True, but {jIyIt'egh} and {maQongchuq} are pretty strange, too!

>ghaHbeH?

This is a little disingenuous because ordinary verbs, upon which the
pronoun-as-verb is based, don't carry grammatical agreement for
noun class, whereas Klingon pronouns *are* marked for class. Even
{SopbeH} or {boghbeH} could be seen as peculiar, and would probably
only appear in extremely specific contexts.

>I prefer {HoD vImoj} to {HoD jIHchoH}.

I would also always say {HoD vImoj}, but I don't have any problem with
{HoD jIHchoH}. Other essentially synonymous pairs can easily be made
using only verbs. {qaSchoH} and {tagh}, for instance.

>ghaHHa'?

Instead of just taking it as a single word, put it into a sentence. Consider
{HoD ghaHHa'}. I have no problem translating it as either "he is no
longer the captain" - although presumably one would expect that
{ghaHbe'choH} would be more common - or even "he is the captain
wrongfully, he captains badly, he mis-captains", which is a nice nuance
that might be conceivable in spoken Klingon but is tough to capture well
in English.

>jIHlu'?

This isn't an arbitrary thing. If you accept SuStel's analysis that the
copula has no true subject, then you can't have {-lu'} because the
notion of an indefinite subject simply can't apply to a copula. And if you
reject that analysis and rather take the idea that the copula does have
a true subject, then you can't have {-lu'} anyway, since it has prefix
requirements that can't be fulfilled by a pronoun-as-verb. In my mind
the contradiction's no different to that generated by having {-lu'} and
{-wI'} on the same verb.

>I see {ghaHbogh} as marginally meaningful, requiring really special
>context that is so rare as to verge on poetry. I don't see prose
>having much use for it in an average day.

mo' loSDIchDaq 'oHtaHbogh targh'e' yIHoH
(kill the targ that is in the fourth cage)

SuvwI' chaHbogh cha' puqloD'e' vIghaj
(I have two sons who are fighters, and another who is a scientist)

They could certainly be rephrased more succinctly ({mo' loSDIch targh
yIHoH} and {puqloDwI''e' SuvwI' chaH cha''e'}), but I don't find these
particularly stilted or peculiar.

Since the canon for verb suffixes with pronouns-as-verbs is very sparse,
obviously we have to make our own choices about how verbal the
pronouns-as-verbs can get. But for me, only those suffixes that limit the
pronominal prefixes in some way (that is, {-'egh}, {-chuq}, {-lu'},
{-wI'} and {-ghach}) are forbidden, because the category of person is
already marked on the pronoun root. That means that those suffixes
can't exert their influence, if you like, over the pronominal prefix,
because the prefix simply isn't there. The person of the argument is
inherent to the pronoun root, and therefore inaccessible to the suffixed
element. (I might be overcomplicating that explanation a bit, but that's
pretty much how I think about it. :)

>If I never see this resolved, I doubt it will decrease the set of things I
>can express comfortably in Klingon.

quSDaq bIba'. Naturally, there is usually another way to say anything.

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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