tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Sun Dec 23 20:01:32 2007

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

Doq (

On Dec 23, 2007, at 7:59 PM, QeS 'utlh wrote:

> 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".

Adding the topic didn't help, for me. I still don't see how "captain"  
becomes a verb here in your translation. I see "Chang mis-is a captain  
or un-is a captain."

> 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'}.

I understand {-Ha'} about as well as most Klingon speakers. The issue  
here is that you are applying it to the verb "to be" in a way that  
turns the direct object into a verb. To say, "He badly-is a captain"  
is not to say "He miscaptains."

> 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 made the accusation because it looks like you've come up with an  
example you'd be highly unlikely to ever, in the wild, decide that you  
needed to say. It's not like you had something to say and this is the  
Klingon that came out. It's like you had a pronoun and a suffix and  
you wanted the combination to have a meaning, and you followed some  
rules and came up with this meaning.

I'm sure I've been guilty of this. When I do this, others should give  
me a hard time about it.

> 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.

Neither of our examples escape that ambiguity, since no reference is  
made to a larger family.

> 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?

You are appropriately giving me a hard time for reaching for an  
example. Yes, it was philosophical and verged on the poetic.

You are completely correct about prefixes on verbs with {-ghach}.  
Besides the clear canon you've provided, it simply makes sense. {- 
ghach} turns what was a verb into a noun, and if other words want a  
grammatical relationship with that word, likely it should base that  
relationship with it on its noun status and not on the verb it was  
before it was {-ghach}ed. Meanwhile, the verb "to be" is special.  
Since Klingon lacks infinitives, it is impossible to express "to be"  
without a subject pronoun.

The pronoun doesn't have a prefix. It represents one.

Basically, when you consider "being", you start getting more  
metaphysical than most Klingons have patience to follow. It's the kind  
of thing that annoys them, and it's rarely wise to annoy a Klingon.

> QeS 'utlh
> tlhIngan Hol yejHaD pab po'wI'
> (Grammarian of the Klingon Language Institute)


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