tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Sun Dec 23 17:00:35 2007

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

QeS 'utlh (

>Consider {HoD ghaHHa'}.

mujang Doq, ja':
>I fail to see how putting {-Ha'} on a pronoun turns the direct object
>into a verb.

It doesn't. It's simply adding the meaning "mis-", "de-" or "dis-" to a
pronoun-as-verb (in this case, one without an explicit topic). If I add the
topic, the functions of the parts of the sentence become clearer: {HoD
ghaHHa' cheng'e'} "Chang mis-captains".

>But, "He un-is a captain," doesn't do it for me, nor does "He mis-is a

In addition to its "undoing" function, the suffix {-Ha'} can have a
nuance of doing something badly. We already have {jatlhHa'} "mis-
speak" in canon. This "badly" meaning is what I mean, and in
conjunction with a pronoun-as-verb is almost the only possible meaning,
since the "undoing" function would probably be done by {mojHa'}.

>Perhaps it would be useful, right next to {tlhonmey} in a poem
>somewhere, but there seem to be other ways to say this so much more

This is where you and I differ, I suppose. I see nothing unclear about {HoD ghaHHa' cheng'e'}. I'm not arguing that it should become common,
not by any stretch of the imagination, but I think your accusing me of
reaching for a meaning is unfounded.

>I must confess a pet peeve. There are certain verbs that we overuse
>in English in ways I doubt all other languages do, and "have" is one of

Oh, I have no doubt at all of that. In Klingon, I get the feeling that the
sentence I provided might only be used by a father who's particularly
proud of his children and wants to especially stress that they're HIS
sons, that HE has them. Obviously, your suggestion of {SuvwI' chaH
cha' puqloDwI''e'} is far more likely to be what's actually said, although
it is ambiguous as to whether he has two sons, or more.

>Since the canon for verb suffixes with pronouns-as-verbs is very

mujang Doq, ja':
>All canon is sparse.

For all "sparse", read "relatively sparse". :P

Canon of subjects in sentence-final position is not sparse. Canon of the verb suffix {-be'} is not sparse. Canon of verb suffixes on pronouns-as-verbs is sparse, and gets astonishingly so if we don't consider the {-taH} that's apparently part of SuStel's "copulatives" with locative meaning.

>I don't see how {-ghach} is involved in "person".

Okrand has said that {-ghach} on a verb that has pronominal prefixes is extremely marked, very rare, and considered weird by Klingons. I quote:

(in response to the question "Can you have prefixes on words that use
{­ghach}?") "My initial reaction is that this needs more study. That is, just
as bare stem + {­ghach} is okay, but weird, prefix + verb (with or
without a suffix) + {­ghach} is even weirder. But not unheard of, and the
semantic feel, say with {legh}, would be something like , or a  as a single concept. I suppose
you could say that, and people would understand it, but it's weird. An I­
seeing­ you happened. I can imagine someone saying that in English, and
you'd look up and say "huh?" but know exactly what was meant. It's
following the rules, but it's following them into a place they don't
normally go." ("Interview: Okrand on {-ghach}", HQ:3.3, p.13)

Rereading that, it seems that {-ghach} doesn't outright forbid the presence of pronominal prefixes, but the co-occurrence of the two on the same verb is extremely odd.

>ghaHtaHghachDaj qelba' Hamlet.

This is an extremely interesting example. You've just made me
reconsider my position.

>jInenchoHtaHvIS, jIHlI'ghach vImojmeH, jIHpu'ghach vIlonnIS.

This feels a little metaphorical and philosophical to me, and I'm not sure
I like it. I don't know what to get out of {jIHlI'ghach vImojmeH}.
{jIHpu'ghach} isn't quite so bad, but why didn't you say
{jIHpu'ghachwIj}, following on from the {ghaHtaHghachDaj} example

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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