tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Tue Nov 24 18:32:24 2009

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Re: The topic marker -'e'

ghunchu'wI' (

On Nov 24, 2009, at 9:01 PM, Christopher Doty wrote:

> On Tue, Nov 24, 2009 at 17:52, David Trimboli <>  
> wrote:
>> Klingon doesn't have a passive voice, ...
> I'll probably get in trouble for this, too, but I would say that
> Klingon does have a passive voice, functionally-speaking.

Often the suffix {-lu'} maps well to English passive voice.  However,  
sometimes it doesn't.  For example, {tlhuHnISlu'} "one must breathe."

> Functionally, we think of passives as demoting an agent (so that it
> leaves the phrase entirely) and promoting a patient to subject.  With
> -lu' in Klingon, we see just such a thing: the one doing the action
> goes away, and the patient is now the subject.

In a sentence with a verb bearing {-lu'}, the subject is indefinite.   
The object, if one exists, does not change.  I suspect that your  
understanding of the situation is being misinformed by your trying to  
apply terms from your linguistic training.

-- ghunchu'wI'

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