tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Tue Oct 27 07:31:58 2009

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RE: Ditransitive reflexives

Steven Boozer (

>> 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
>> {maja'chuqjaj?}
>> Can we talk? PK
>> {'uQ wISoppu'DI' maja'chuq}
>> We will talk after dinner. PK
>> {ghobchuq loDnI'pu'}
>> "The Brothers Battle One Another"
>> (i.e. the name of the Kahless and Morath statuette) KCD
>> {pujchuqmoH}
>> they weaken each other (st.klingon [11/1997])
>> {Hay'chuq}
>> They duel one another. KGT
>> {Hay'chuqchu'}
>> They duel one another to the death (i.e. "perfectly"). KGT

Tracy Canfield:
>Thanks!  Do you have something comparable for 'egh?  Obviously they can't
>occur in exactly the same contexts, since -chuq is limited to plural
>subjects, and sometimes one is meaningful where the other wouldn't be -
>but since they're both reflexives, it would be nice to compare the two

{-'egh} (reflexive) (V1): "oneself, self":

TKD 35:  This suffix is used to indicate that the action described by the verb affects the performer of the action, the subject. It is translated by English "self". When this suffix is used, the prefix set indicating "no object" must also be used: 
   {jIqIp'egh}   I hit myself
   {bIqIp'egh}   you hit yourself
   {qIp'egh}     he/she hits himself/herself. 
It is also possible to use this suffix with imperative verbs. As with nonimperatives, the prefix indicating "no object" must be used: 
   {yIja''egh}   tell yourself! 
   {peja''egh}   tell yourselves!

KGT 91:  The verb {HaH} ... is now often used in the more general sense of "soak, drench". It is frequently heard in the reflexive form (HaH'egh} ("soak oneself") in reference to such activities as drinking a great deal, which has positive connotations, and bathing, an occasional undertaking with negative connotations." 

KGT 117:  Generally, when a verb describing a state of being (for example, {tuj} ["be hot"]) is used in the imperative form, the suffixes {-'egh} (reflexive suffix) and {-moH} (cause) are used as well... 
   {yItuj'eghmoH}  Heat yourself! ("Cause yourself to be hot!")
   {yItaD'eghmoH}  Freeze yourself! ("Cause yourself to be frozen!")

st.klingon (11/1997):  For example, there is an entry for "commit suicide" just in case anyone wants to look that word up; but the Klingon equivalent is simply {HoH'egh}, literally "kill oneself} ({HoH} "kill" plus Type 1 verb suffix {-'egh} "oneself")... Maltz reports having heard both {quv'eghmoH} "he/she honors him/herself", which follows the expected order (verb-Type 1-Type 4: {quv} "be honored", {-'egh} "oneself}, {-moH} "cause") as well as the weird {quvmoH'egh} "he/she honors him/herself", in which the Type 1 suffix {-'egh} "oneself" follows the Type 4 suffix {-moH} "cause", an impossible formation unless the speaker is considering the verb to be {quvmoH} "honor" and not {quv} "be honored". Speakers who do this seem to be aware that they are breaking the rules, so they are doing it for rhetorical effect... the wisest course is to leave such things to the poets and keep {-moH} in its Type 4 position.

st.klingon (7/1999):  Though not common, it is also possible to use {tatlh} with the reflexive suffix {-'egh} ("do something to oneself") to convey a meaning similar to that of {chegh}:  
   {pa'Daq jItatlh'egh}  "I return to the room" 
... The {tatlh'egh} form seems to suggest that the doer of the action is forcing himself/herself to do something, perhaps because it is difficult or not desirable. 

HolQeD 10.2:8-9:  There are some special uses of the reflexive forms of the finger verbs. For example, while {ghIchwIj vISIq} means "I touch my nose with my index finger" and {ghIchwIjDaq jISIq} means "I point at my nose with my index finger", the phrase {ghIchwIjDaq jISIq'egh} (with {-'egh} oneself}), literally "I use at myself my index finger at my nose", is used for "I pick my nose with my index finger". Similarly, {nujDajDaq rIl'egh ghu}, literally "at his/her mouth, the baby uses at him/herself his/her thumb", is used for "the baby sucks its thumb".

  {nujDajDaq mar'egh ghu} 
  the baby sucks its big toe (HQ 10.2)

He destroyed himself. TKD

commit suicide (to kill oneself) TKD 

Enjoy yourselves. (ST5 notes)

{qIp'egh nachDu'chaj tlhIngan SuvwI'pu'} 
Klingon warriors are butting heads.  CK
["I think it's supposed to be ?{qIp'egh tlhIngan SuvwI'pu' nachDu'}. However, perhaps Okrand has some weird sort of grammar in mind..." (SuStel)] 

{not Hub'eghrupHa' lo'wI'}
the user is never caught at a disadvantage  SP2 

{'ang'eghQo' quv Hutlhbogh jagh neH ghobtaHvIS ghaH}
Only an enemy without honor refuses to show himself in battle. TKW 

{qep'a' wejDIchDaq jatlhtaH tlhIngan Hol HaDwI'pu'. ghoHtaH je. tIv'eghtaH je.} 
UNTRANSLATED  (st.klingon (11/1996), MO to SuStel [11/96]) 

If you need any more examples or have any questions WRT vocabulary or sources, don't hesitate to ask.

Canon Master of the Klingons

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