tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Mon Dec 24 01:10:52 2007

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

QeS 'utlh (

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

jIjang, jIja':
>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".

mujang Doq, ja':
>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."

You're focussing inappropriately closely on the English translation. Forget
the English. The translation I provided is meant to be a free translation
rather than a faithful one, because the faithful translation (with the "mis-
is a captain" or "un-is a captain") doesn't work at all well in English. "He
mis-captains" is about as close as English can get in a simple sentence.
The morphology and structure of the English sentence is not what we're
discussing; the Klingon is what we're talking about here.

>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.

...that turns the direct object into a verb *in English*. The Klingon
{HoD} is absolutely, 100% unassailably a noun. {HoD ghaH} is "he is a
captain". {HoD ghaHHa'} is "he mis-is a captain" or "he un-is a captain"
(using the clumsy English that really doesn't express the Klingon well);
even you agree with that. I find "mis-is" to be peculiar English, so I
substituted the English verb "captain" simply and only to allow the
translation to flow freely. ghIlab ghew tIbuSQo'.

>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,

No, it's like *you* had a pronoun and a suffix and stated that you found
the combination to be weird or meaningless. {ghaHHa'} was what *you*
put forward as an example of why you don't believe all verb suffixes can
apply to pronouns-as-verbs. I merely disagreed with you: I find
{ghaHHa'} neither particularly weird nor meaningless. You were the one
who opened the door on {ghaHHa'}, which is why I take exception to the
accusation of reaching.

>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.

wa' DoS wIqIpchu'. This is how I see it.

>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.

wa' DoS wIqIptaH. Like I said, the pronoun is already marked for
person, so the pronominal prefixes that normally do the marking for
person simply can't appear.

>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.

True, and perhaps that's why my brain doesn't like {jIHlI'ghach} and
{jIHpu'ghach}. Maybe the only reason I find {ghaHtaHghach} to be
reasonable is because it implies a continuous existence that's capable of
being acted upon by one who's engaged in it; {ghaHpu'ghachDaj} would
be something like "his having existed", which is probably something that
would never have to come up in a Klingon conversation. Even if Klingon
philosophers could handle it, the average Klingon would probably say
merely {jIwuQchoH}. :)

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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