tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Wed Dec 02 16:12:16 2009

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Re: Cogito ergo sum (was RE: Numbers with pronouns)

Christopher Doty (

Ah, okay, I see what you mean.  With the first one, <ngaQ lojmIt>, one
could equally well say <lojmIt vIgnaQpu'>; that is, "I've 'locked in'
the outcome, made only one outcome possible'", yes?

So you were saying that this same sort of stripped down citation form
might be what is showing up in Hamlet?  Hmm... I kind of like that, as
if it's referring to the concept, the idiom itself, rather than any
specific person...  One wonders if, assuming this is the case, it can
show up in other circumstances.  To reference, e.g., "saluting the
stars" as a concept, rather than a specific individual doing it, could
we have just <Hovmey van>...

On Wed, Dec 2, 2009 at 15:58, David Trimboli <> wrote:
> Christopher Doty wrote:
>> Ah, I see what you're saying.  "Hoch nuH qel" is a sort of basic form
>> of an utterance, without the verbal morphology?  (I got my copy of KGT
>> today; can you point me to the section with these?)
> The idioms start on page 108, but you'll find this sort of thing
> throughout the book.
>> Normally in linguistics when the form that appears in a dictionary is
>> either a) ungrammatical on its own or b) a form selected for
>> simplicity, we call it the "citation form."  In Arabic, for example,
>> the 3rd singular masculine conjugation form, as it is the easiest to
>> use as the basis to form the other conjugations (and there is no
>> infinitive form).  Is this what you mean here?
> Yes, that's exactly it.
>> On Wed, Dec 2, 2009 at 15:42, David Trimboli <> wrote:
>>> Christopher Doty wrote:
>>>> On Wed, Dec 2, 2009 at 15:08, David Trimboli <> wrote:
>>>>> These aren't complete sentences; they're not-yet-used examples.
>>>>> I'm home now, so I can find a good one in KGT:
>>>>>    Hoch nuH qel ("consider every weapon")
>>>>>    This is an idiom cloaked in the terminology of the military that has
>>>>>    a wider application. It is used to mean "Consider every possibility"
>>>>>    or "Consider every option," with the word {nuH} ("weapon") standing
>>>>>    metaphorically for "possibility." ({Hoch} means "all, every" and
>>>>>    {qel} is "consider, take into account.") It is not a set phrase, so
>>>>>    it is heard in various forms, such as a command ({Hoch nuH
>>>>>    yIqel!}—literally, "Consider every weapon!" but meaning "Consider
>>>>>    every possibility!"), question ({Hoch nuH Daqel'a'?} ["Did you
>>>>>    consider every weapon?"]), or statement ({Hoch nuH wIqelpu'} ["We've
>>>>>    considered every weapon"]), and it can be negated ({Hoch nuH qelbe'}
>>>>>    ["He/she does not consider every weapon"]). The regular word for
>>>>>    "possibility" is {DuH}, and, grammatically, there is no reason it
>>>>>    could not occur instead of {nuH} in these sentences ({Hoch DuH yIqel}
>>>>>    ["Consider every possibility!"] is a perfectly well formed sentence),
>>>>>    but this is simply not the normal way to express the advice. The use
>>>>>    of {nuH} "weapon" for {DuH} ("possibility") may have been influenced
>>>>>    by the Krotmag dialect pronunciation of {DuH} as something very close
>>>>>    to {nuH}...
>>>>> You can't use these phrases in sentences, but it shows how Okrand (and
>>>>> maybe Klingons) think of these phrases without regard to person or mood.
>>>> This looks very much like clipped Klingon to me, with the imperative
>>>> prefix left off, similar to what we are talking about below,
>>>> perhaps...
>>> Clipped? No, I don't think so. If it were clipped it would still
>>> "resolve" to just one meaning. The examples like this are meant to be
>>> changed into any allowed form, not used as they are.
>>> Instead of infinitive, this could be called a "stem form." The verbs are
>>> only stems, not inflected, just like the word-list entries in TKD. I
>>> don't know if there is a linguistic term for phrases and sentences in
>>> this form.
> --
> SuStel
> tlhIngan Hol MUSH

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