tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Fri Sep 18 10:47:36 2009

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Re: use of DIng

Doq (

While I'm tempted to agree, that if I spin around in circles,  
{jIDIng}, and if I spin a bottle, {bal vIDIngmoH}, it could be just as  
easy that the verb is transitive and the two sentence should be  
{jIDIng'egh} and {bal vIDIng}. It is not really more efficient to use  
{-moH} than it is to use {-'egh}.

Witness {chenmoH}. It would have been much more "efficient" for {chen}  
to mean "make", and in the rare instances when we now would use {chen}  
by itself, we could use {chen'egh}. As much as I would like efficiency  
to weigh in heavily on these matters, it doesn't.

The point is that the actual relationship between the verb and any  
objects is arbitrary, and chosen word by word. Apparently {vIH} really  
does mean to be in motion and not to move an object, so that {jIvIH}  
and {bal vIvIHmoH}, much like {jIjaH} and {bal vIjaHmoH}, but we have  
examples of other words that Okrand uses as root verbs for both the  
transitive and intransitive meaning.

That's true both for the pseudo-intransitive words like {legh} where  
you can say {jIlegh} and still be using a transitive verb without any  
specifics about what it is you see, and also for words with an actual  
intransitive meaning in addition to the transitive meaning,  
unfortunately, like {DIng}. People argued that {vIH} should be in that  
class, but Okrand eventually stated that it really was intransitive.  
At issue was wether or not "be in motion" indicated that it was a verb  
that could be used as an adjective. {Duj vIH yIbuS!} If {vIH} had a  
transitive meaning, then you could not use it as an adjective.

So, does Okrand want to use {DIng} as an adjective? That's the  
question you are really asking here. Does he want to be able to say  
{jIH DIng law' SoH DIng puS}? These are things he can't say if {DIng}  
can be transitive without {-moH}.

My two cents, anyway.


On Sep 18, 2009, at 11:36 AM, Steven Boozer wrote:

> lay'tel SIvten:
>>>> I couldn't find any canon for it. Since merely adding {-moH}
>>>> would make it the transitive version, I hope it's the intran-
>>>> sitive meaning. If it's the transitive meaning already, then
>>>> it's a lot harder to get the intransitive meaning.
> Voragh:
>>> There's no canon for {Ding} "spin" - or {tlhe'} "turn"
>>> either.  Like lay'SIv, I imagine they both work like
>>> {jIr} "rotate, twirl" vs. {jIrmoH} "twirl X, cause X to
>>> rotate".  (The context in KGT p.59-60 was specifically
>>> about bat'leth movements, but I imagine {jIrmoH} can be used
>>> for other things as well.)
> ter'eS:
>> I'm tending to think you are right on philosophical grounds: since
>> Klingons prefer action, they probably prefer to be the actor rather  
>> than
>> the one acted upon, so the simple stem of most verbs would describe  
>> the
>> subject as performing (or experiencing) the verb (the intransitive
>> usage), with {-moH} available for when you want to refer to the  
>> agency
>> that causes them to undergo the verb (transitive). By that  
>> reasoning, for
>> verbs we have no canon for that can go either way in English, my  
>> default
>> assumption would be that they are intransitive in Klingon.
> I agree.  It's efficient, it takes advantage of the {-moH} (cause)  
> suffix and it works.  It may not be right for every specific verb,  
> of course, but we have no way of knowing without any context or  
> further information from Okrand.
>> If my memory wasn't so bad, I'd cite some examples!
> Some more movement-type examples:
> DoH      back away from, back off, get away from
> DoHmoH   drive back
> laq      flap (intransitive)
> laqmoH   flap (transitive)
>   Maltz pointed out that, in flight, a bird's wings {laq} (the bird
>   is said to {laqmoH} its wings)... (HQ 10.4)
> pum      fall
> pummoH   knock down
> ron      roll (i.e. aircraft)
> ronmoH   bank, cause to roll
> -- 
> Voragh
> Canon Master of the Klingons

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