tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Tue Oct 27 06:40:08 2009

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RE: Ditransitive reflexives

Steven Boozer (

Tracy Canfield:
>> My original post discusses *why* the prefix trick seems to be a problem in
>> these cases.  With examples.  So I really am more than a little frustrated
>> to have two people immediately tell me to use it, without addressing the
>> original question.

>You have found a lacuna in Klingon grammar. As far as I know, there is no
>easy way to express a reciprocal relationship between the subjects and
>beneficiaries of a verb phrase.  You were posing the possibility of
>treating such a relationship as if it were a reciprocal subject-object
>relationship by using the "prefix trick" in some way, but the fact is
>that the verb in a (-chuq) phrase has no object, as shown by the use of
>the "no-object" verb prefixes. We say, for example, "We hit each other",
>using a "dummy" object to express the mutual action, but Klingons say
>{mamupchuq}, or something like "We reciprocally and mutually hit". As Doq
>noted, don't be influenced by the "each other" in the English, since the
>Klingon phrase is object-less, and thus the prefix trick is irrelevant.

I don't want to get into speculative grammar, but here is all I have in my notes about {-chuq} "reciprocal" together with all known examples:

TKD 36:  This suffix is used only with plural subjects. It is translated each other or one another. The prefix set indicating "no object" is also used when this suffix is used: 
  {maqIpchuq}   we hit each other
  {SuqIpchuq}   you (plural) hit each other
  {qIpchuq}     they hit each other
  {peqIpchuq}   hit each other!

KGT 158:  If one wanted to say that two persons collide but not imply that they butt heads, the verb {ngeQ} would probably be used along with the suffix {-chuq} ("each other") as in {ngeQchuq tera'nganpu'} ("The Terrans collide with each other"). 

{ja'chuqmeH rojHom neH jaghla'} 
The enemy commander wishes a truce (in order) to confer. TKD 

Can we talk? PK

{'uQ wISoppu'DI' maja'chuq} 
We will talk after dinner. PK 

{ghobchuq loDnI'pu'} 
"The Brothers Battle One Another" 
(the name of the Kahless and Morath statuette) KCD 

they weaken each other (st.klingon [11/1997]) 

They duel one another. KGT 

They duel one another to the death (i.e. "perfectly"). KGT

Canon Master of the Klingons

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