tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Mon Nov 23 13:47:50 2009

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RE: Question about -wI'

Steven Boozer (

Christopher Doty wrote:
>> Can -wI' go on nouns? Or does this mean that, as with many Klingon
>> words, the noun Hergh is identical to a verb with roughly the same
>> meaning, "administer medicine," and the verb Hergh is simply missing
>> from the dictionary?

>No, {-wI'} is only a verb suffix. There are some complex nouns that
>*look* like they're simple nouns plus {-wI'}, but we can't pull them
>apart and generalize new words or rules from them; we have to suppose
>that they're leftovers from Old Klingon, or some such, and just treat
>them as distinct complex nouns. See also TKD 3.2.2.

{HerghwI'} may also be a contraction of the longer {Hergh QaywI'} "pneumatic hypo" or "thing which transfers medicine" (HQ 1.3:9).  Perhaps this is medical slang for a commonly used device which one may need to ask for quickly.  

We're told in KCD that {HoHwI'} is also the short form for another device, the {romuluSngan Sambogh 'ej HoHbogh nejwI'} or Romulan hunter-killer probe.  It's not an exact parallel, of course since we do have the verb {HoH} "kill", but this is another occasion where one needs a quick warning. 

{HerghwI'} may well be derived from an unknown or obsolete verb *{Hergh} ("medicate"?), but as Sustel warns, we have no way of knowing at the moment.

Canon Master of the Klingons

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