tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Fri Nov 27 08:10:52 2009

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

ghunchu'wI' (

On Nov 27, 2009, at 12:04 AM, Christopher Doty wrote:

> 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.

When you say "also" and "beyond", do you mean 1) it's always a  
passive and sometimes has another function at the same time, or 2)  
it's sometimes a passive and sometimes has another function instead?   
I hesitate to respond before I know just what I'm responding to.

> This first set looks closest to a sort of fourth person, especially
> the first one.

If by "fourth person" you mean an indefinite or nonspecific or even  
completely absent subject...then yes, that's exactly what {-lu'}  
means.  It *always* means that.  Whether or not an appropriate  
English translation uses passive voice isn't important.  (I think the  
phrase "zeroth person" would fit the idea better.)

> Specific comments below...

I can't be sure what you're really thinking, but it looks like your  
specific comments are all based on the English phrasing.  Try not to  
put too much importance on the translation; in many of these cases,  
the English came first and the Klingon was crafted to carry a similar  
meaning.  For instance:

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

I can see no way to call {Suvlu'taHvIS} transitive.

-- ghunchu'wI'

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