tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Thu Nov 26 21:06:38 2009

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Re: {-lu'} on intransitive verbs [WAS Re: The topic marker -'e']

Christopher Doty (

Thanks, these are quite interesting! So, as I said before, -lu'
functions as a passive in Klingon, but the examples below make it
clear that it ALSO has other functions, beyond just a passive.
Specific comments below.

On Thu, Nov 26, 2009 at 07:09, Agnieszka Solska <> wrote:
> Some canon examples of {-lu'} used on intransitive verbs:

(one of these--semantically, at least, if not syntactically--was
transitive; I've moved those to the bottom)

This first set looks closest to a sort of fourth person, especially
the first one.  The last one could still be thought of as a passive,
though...  And maybe the second one, too; would have to think about
that a bit more...

> quSDaq ba'lu''a'?
> Is this seat taken?
> TKD, p. 171
> pujwI' HIvlu'chugh *quvbe'lu'*.
> There is no honor in attacking the weak.
> TKW, p. 24
> batlhHa' vanglu'taHvIS quv chavbe'lu'.
> One does not achieve honor while acting dishonorably.
> TKW, p. 55

This next set is SUPER cool, as it looks like the -lu' is functioning
almost as a kind of nominalizer.  Not exactly, of course, since they
aren't nouns, but in terms of referring not to the specific action but
the outcome of the action.  I repeat: cool!

> yInlu'taH 'e' bajnISlu'.
> Survival must be earned.
> TKW, p. 125
> batlh Heghlu'chugh noDnISbe' vay'.
> An honorable death requires no vengeance.
> TKW, p. 129
> Heghlu'meH QaQ jajvam.
> It is a good day to die.
> TKW, p. 69
> Heghlu'DI' mobbe'lu'chugh QaQqu' Hegh wanI'.
> Death is an experience best shared.
> TKW, p. 73
> batlh Heghlu'chugh noDnISbe' vay'
> An honorable death requires no vengeance.
> TKW, p. 129
> 'oy'be'lu'chugh Qapbe'lu'.
> No pain, no gain.
> TKW, p. 175

Transitive example:

> Suvlu'taHvIS yapbe' HoS neH.
> Brute strength is not the most important asset in a fight.
> TKW, p. 21

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