tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Mon Sep 14 08:04:59 2009

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Re: nom*i*nal*ize 2. to convert (an underlying clause) into a noun phrase

Krenath (

I am not a linguist but I would assume that you do not add -ghach to  
bItlhutlh but rather to tlhutlh by itself. Once tlhutlh has been  
converted to a noun one cannot add verb affixes to it anymore.

tlhutlhghach would be 'drinking' as in 'the act of drinking something'  
but bItlhutlhghach would not be 'that act of you drinking something'

tlhutlhghachlIj would much more likely be 'your drinking'.

On Sep 14, 2009, at 9:31 AM, Steven Boozer <> wrote:

> qe'San:
>> I was just looking up nominalise on and got  
>> nomilnalize
>> nom*i*nal*ize [nom-uh-nl-ahyz] -verb (used with object), -ized, - 
>> iz*ing.
>> 1.  to convert (another part of speech) into a noun, as in changing  
>> the
>> adjective lowly into the lowly or the verb legalize into  
>> legalization.
>> 2.  to convert (an underlying clause) into a noun phrase, as in
>> changing he drinks to his drinking in I am worried about his  
>> drinking.
>> The question I have is does that apply to use of -ghach in  
>> Klingon?  I
>> understand definition 1. but what about 2. ?
>> If so could I say, "he drinks" {tlhutlh} added with {-ghach} to get  
>> "his
>> drinking" {tlhutlhghach} or even {bItlhutlhghach} for "your  
>> drinking"..
>> Or for "his drinking" would it be {tlhutlhghachDaj} and for "your
>> drinking" {tlhutlhghachlIj}
>> In either case would you also need to add aspect?
> The short answer is that you use {-ghach} on a verb that carries a  
> suffix (i.e. do not add it to the bare verb) - although exceptions  
> do occur.  This was not very clear in TKD.  The KLI published an  
> interview with Okrand on the use of {-ghach} and other noun/verb  
> questions which should answer most of your questions (and no doubt  
> raise others):
> -----------------------------------------------------------------
>        "Interview:  Okrand on {-ghach}" [HolQeD 3.3:10]
> Z:  We have many examples of single syllable words which are both  
> verbs and nouns, and the description of {-ghach} given in TKD  
> explicitly states that you use {-ghach} on a verb that carries a  
> suffix.  Is {-ghach} only used on verbs that already have suffixes,  
> and can we otherwise presume that any monosyllabic Klingon verb has  
> the identical nominal form?
> MO:  Do all monosyllabic verbs have an identical nominal form? I  
> don't know. the phrase I used in TKD was "it is not known if all  
> verbs can be used as nouns." It was true when I wrote the thing and  
> it's true now. I wouldn't be surprised to find nouns identical to  
> the verb forms that no one has seen yet, I'm sure there's more. But  
> I'm not prepared to say that any verb is a noun and any noun is a  
> verb.
> The semantic relationship between the two is not straightforward  
> either, there are some, like {bach}, which means "shoot" (v) or "a  
> shot" (n) where the noun is the instrument or means of the verb.  
> When you shoot something what you shoot is the shot.
> Z:  And we have the same parallel with {nob}, give and gift.
> MO: Exactly. Then there's another kind like {leH} which means  
> "maintain" or "maintenance", which is different because you don't  
> maintain a maintenance. It's a different type of thing--it's like  
> the verb form is the activity and the noun describes the result of  
> doing the verb.
> Z: Almost a gerund form.
> MO: Yeah. And another kind; {boQ}, the verb means "assist" but the  
> noun means "aide", which is the doer or the agent. It's a wholly  
> different semantic relationship.
> Z: Is there any apparent pattern to this?
> MO: Not that I have discovered yet, but I think that would be worth  
> looking into. I think that would be a good study. That's the way to  
> purse it rather than all nouns can be verbs or all verbs can be  
> nouns, because that is not the case.
> When the verb is one of those adjective type of verbs, what we have  
> been calling stative verbs, it's different again. There's {nov}  
> which is "be alien", the noun is what is described by the verb--an  
> alien is alien. And there's {bel} which means be "pleased" but also  
> means "pleasure" which is causation or something, pleasure results  
> from being pleased. And {quv} meaning "be honored" and "honor". And  
> then there are some that are not noun/verb pairs but verb/something  
> else pairs. There's {Do'} which means "be lucky" but it's also an  
> adverb meaning "luckily" and {batlh} meaning "honor" the noun and  
> also the adverb "with honor"; so it's not simply that all verbs can  
> be nouns, there are more identical forms going on. Exactly what the  
> patterns are isn't apparent to me yet.
> Z: When you add {-ghach} onto a word what do you get? One argument  
> is if you can't add {-ghach} onto a bare stem, and you are trying  
> for a gerund form, you should be able to add {-taH} then {-ghach}.  
> Would you care to comment?
> MO: That's fine, I think it's a legitimate thing to do assuming the  
> verb plus {-taH} is legitimate. It depends on the verb. In the  
> dictionary I give four examples and that's all there is. There's  
> "value", which is used kind of like *worthness and also  
> "worthlessness", and then "discommendation" and "re-commendation".  
> So what {-ghach} means on the basis of these is "-ness" or "-tion".  
> "-ness" means something like the state of being X, or the quality of  
> being X. *Bigness means the quality of being big. "-tion" involves  
> more activity, so it's an action involving something. So  
> recommendation is the action or result of recommending, as opposed  
> to the "-ness" ones which are more stative in English. The examples  
> of {-ghach} there go with both kinds: the stative with "-ness" and  
> the activity kind with "-tion".
> Z: Just to be clear, you're saying that if it is a stative verb with  
> {-ghach} that you are creating a "-ness" equivalent in English? And  
> if it's a more active or transitive verb you're creating a "-tion"  
> type of noun?
> MO: Yes. So {-ghach} means something like condition of being X, if X  
> is stative. Or action or process involved with, or maybe result of  
> the action, but the process involved with Y where Y is, for the   
> lack of a better term, an active verb.
> Z: Can we use the suffix {-ghach} on a naked stem?
> MO: The answer is yes and no--and I'll elaborate so I don't leave it  
> at that. In general no (this is my understanding from Maltz). As far  
> as I can tell {-ghach} is at least at first blush restricted to a  
> position following a verb suffix of another type which means 1  
> through 8 because it's a nine.
> Z: Or a rover?
> MO: Absolutely. I personally have never heard a Klingon say  
> {tlhutlhghach}. On the other hand, throw in the {-taH} as we were  
> saying earlier and you have {tlhutlhtaHghach}, which means "ongoing  
> drinking" or "the process of continuing drink", which is just fine  
> but the English translation overemphasizes the "continuing" part.  
> Because in English it's a separate word or phrase as opposed to just  
> a little suffix like it is in Klingon. So as a result of the  
> translation it takes on a little more oomph than it has.
> Z: And yet, it feels like a very badly repaired word in English.
> MO: In English right, but not in Klingon. It's just fine and  
> semantically even makes sense because if it's going to be one of  
> these - to use your word - gerund like things--a drinking, that's a  
> continuous thing. You don't have a drinking at a finite point in  
> time it has to carry on in time it has to be ongoing.
> Z: So, can we use the suffix {-ghach} on a naked stem?
> MO: The general answer to that is "no." Now having said that, can  
> you do it? Can you say {belghach} or {nobghach} or anything like  
> that? Yeah you can, but it has a feeling in Klingon kind of like the  
> English word *pleasureness or something or something like  
> *collapsation - it follows the rules, it's a "-tion", an activity  
> and all, but it doesn't happen to work. However, - if you said it  
> would you be understood? Yes, but it's weird. Klingon is a little  
> more forgiving than English, people wouldn't jump up and down and  
> say that's horrible and ungrammatical, but they would say that's a  
> unique formation. Perhaps appropriate for the occasion, but not  
> necessarily a word for all times.
> Z: So, if we use {-ghach} on a bare stem...
> MO: It's a highly marked form. It's a word you are forming for a  
> specific occasion and a specific effect. If you were a poet or  
> philosopher or hard scientist and had to describe something very  
> specifically these kinds of words might be appropriate but it  
> carries the feeling of very technical arcane vocabulary, not normal  
> everyday stuff. So can you say it? Yes, but you are saying more,  
> rather than less or neutral.
> Z: And you are drawing a great deal of attention to it in the process.
> MO: Right, I suppose over time some of these things could be  
> lexicalized, but my hunch would be if they are lexicalized they  
> would drop stuff. And there may even be some kind of morphological  
> change - what used to be the last consonant of the stem will change  
> to the {ch} of {-ghach} or something like that. There are limited  
> examples of that type of stuff happening in the dictionary, though  
> not with the {-ghach}.
> Z: Okay, if you can add {-ghach} to a bare stem, what happens if you  
> add it to one of those verbs that already has a noun counterpart?  
> Like {nob}?
> MO: You won't necessarily end up with a noun that means the same  
> thing. Remember, there is no single semantic or case relationship  
> between a noun and a verb, there are different ones, probably half a  
> dozen different relationships going on, and the {-ghach} one will  
> only be one of those, and it will be a different kind, not the same  
> thing at all. So if you add {-ghach} to {nob} you end up with  
> *givation. If what you mean to express is an ongoing giving,  
> {nobtaHghach}, stick in the {-taH}.
> Z: Well, if {nobtaHghach} means something like ongoing giving, would  
> {nobghach} mean a one-time donation?
> MO: Yes, but it's a funny word for that. It could also be  
> {nobpu'ghach}, a *given. Not a past event necessarily, just  
> finished. Now if you use {-ghach}, and Klingons do this, they play  
> with their language like everyone does, you can get some interesting  
> semantic distinctions you can't get otherwise. For example, you have  
> two nouns that mean honor - like you would expect because it's such  
> a big deal. There's {batlh} and there's {quv} and both are nouns  
> meaning "honor". And there's a verb meaning "honor" {quvmoH}, that's  
> a regular ordinary construction. So you can have {quvmoHghach} which  
> is a noun that would mean "the process of honoring". {quvghach}, the  
> naked stem one, that would mean *honoredness. It has the same odd  
> feeling to it, but the same understandability, but not quite as  
> bizarre in Klingon as in English. It's a highlighter.
> Z: One of the things I like about Klingon is that you can put  
> together combinations that give you semantic qualities that you  
> would never think of in English. You could take a perfective suffix  
> and add {-ghach}; what would that mean?
> MO: Say, give--having given--{nobta'ghach}, it's over already, done  
> already, a gift given, but not the general notion of a process of  
> giving.
> Z: So this might be a word to describe the occasion of the last  
> exchange of gifts at a holiday, that event.
> MO: Right, the particular instance of - as opposed to the general  
> notion of - something that goes on all the time. Now let's put that  
> on a stative verb like to be pleased. {belpu'ghach}, "having been  
> pleased". It would be something like a particular instance of  
> pleasure.
> Z: Let's carry this to the next extreme. Can you have prefixes on  
> words that use {-ghach}?
> MO: My initial reaction is that this needs more study. That is, just  
> as bare stem + {-ghach} is okay, but weird, prefix + verb (with or  
> without a suffix) + {-ghach} is even weirder. But not unheard of,  
> and the semantic feel, say with {legh}, would be something like *I-/ 
> you-seeing, or a sighting of you by me as a single concept. I  
> suppose you could say that, and people would understand it, but it's  
> weird. An I-seeing-you happened. I can imagine someone saying that  
> in English, and you'd look up and say "huh?" but know exactly what  
> was meant. It's following the rules, but it's following them  into a  
> place they don't normally go.
> --
> Voragh
> Canon Master of the Klingons

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