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

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

QeS 'utlh (qeslagh@hotmail.com)



jIjatlhpu':
>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
>captain."

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
>clearly.

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
>them.

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.

jIjatlhtaH:
>Since the canon for verb suffixes with pronouns-as-verbs is very
>sparse,

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
above?

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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