tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Fri Nov 27 08:25:29 2009

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

Christopher Doty (

On Fri, Nov 27, 2009 at 08:10, ghunchu'wI' <> wrote:
> 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.

I mean exactly what I said: it functions as a passive, and it
functions in other ways, too.

>> 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.)

Oh you of hating terminology, did you make up a terrible, terrible word?

>> 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:

You can't be sure what I'm thinking because I have 10+ years of
studying linguistics under my belt, and I can hardly impart all of
that knowledge to you in a couple weeks over email.

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

Are you serious?  It would be hard to not fight something or someone.
You'll note that I said "semantically" transitive, which 'fight' is.

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