tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Wed Dec 02 16:21:49 2009

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

David Trimboli ( [KLI Member] [Hol po'wI']

Christopher Doty wrote:
> 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?

I wouldn't assume that unless the book says the phrase may appear in 
other forms. There are other phrases in the book that mean something 
special when said in an exact way, and something more standard when said 
any other way.

> 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...

I was suggesting that this is one possible interpretation, yes.

 > 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>...

I have no doubt of it, since Okrand does it over and over again in KGT. 
However, how Klingons might do it, and the circumstances in which they 
find it appropriate, remains a complete mystery.

> 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

tlhIngan Hol MUSH

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