tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Tue Nov 24 18:41:32 2009

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Re: The topic marker -'e'

Christopher Doty (

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

I didn't say that it was exactly the same; in fact, I was very careful
not to.  -lu' probably does other things in Klingon, but it is also
doing something that is a passive.

> In a sentence with a verb bearing {-lu'}, the subject is indefinite.

Yes, because it is unimportant, and thus demoted, and thus gone.

> The object, if one exists, does not change.

No, it does not, in terms of neither its semantics nor its syntax,
which is why I said that it is not a perfect, canonical passive, where
we would expect vI- to change to jI-.  What we have instead is vI-,
instead of meaning 1singular-3rd, meaning something-1singular.
Technically, this is an inverse voice construction (syntactically) but
semantically, it is functioning as a passive.

> I suspect that your
> understanding of the situation is being misinformed by your trying to
> apply terms from your linguistic training.

Dude, stop saying this.  Just because you don't understand something
doesn't mean that anyone else who says anything about it is
automatically wrong.  I am not misinformed, and I am not misapplying

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