tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Fri Aug 02 03:38:38 2013

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Re: [Tlhingan-hol] Klingon Word of the Day: jIr

De'vID (

>> {jIr} is used in contexts other than twirling bat'leths, yes?  For
>> example, I can say {jIr mI'wI'}, "The dancer twirls/spins," (say in the
>> context of ballet) and be understood, qar'a'?

My own suspicion is that {jIr} and {DIng} refer to rotation about
different axes, similar to how we have {tor} "pitch", {Der} "yaw", and
{ron} "roll".

A top (such as a dreidel) {DIng}s, as does a ballerina on tippy toes.
So it's like a version of {Der} which is fast and implies at least one
complete rotation about the axis.

There was a dance one or two seasons ago on Dancing With the Stars in
one of the final episodes where the man lifted the woman and twirled
her head over heels, like a bat'leth. I would say the man {jIrmoH}ed
the woman, and that she was {jIr}ring. So that's like a mix of {tor}
and/or {ron}, depending on whether you were looking at the rotation
from the front or side. (It's hard to pin down one axis, because when
one twirls a bat'leth or a person in this way, there's also some
{Der}ring involved.)

I think I may need to draw a diagram to explain this. :-)

If you said to me that {jIr mI'wI'}, the image that comes to me is
more like a gymnast's somersault than a figure skater's or ballerina's
spin. I'd use {DIng} for those. But that's just me.

> I would think so.  Only {jIrmoH} is specifically associated with the bat'leth in the KGT definition, though I can't imagine why you couldn't {jIrmoH} something else.
> AFAIK we have no examples of {jIr} in a sentence.  Ditto for {Ding} "spin", but I do have this comment by Philip Newton (3/22/2012):
>   Someone (De'vID jonpIn?) asked Marc Okrand about {Ding} at
>   the {qepHom wa'maHDIch} (2011) in Saarbrücken. I seem to
>   recall that he agreed that it was intransitive (the spinning
>   thing {Ding}'s, and the one who spins it {DIngmoH}'s it),
>   but am not sure whether the answer might not have been the
>   characteristical noncommittal instead.

Based on my notes from the qepHom, I asked MO about {ghur} and {nup},
which he confirmed as intransitive. I don't recall if it was me who
asked him about {jIr} and {DIng}, but I was present when it was asked
(it was part of the same overall conversation about which verbs were
intransitive). My interpretation of what he said is that {DIng} is
used like {jIr}, in that the subject is the thing which is undergoing
rotation (and you'd have to add {-moH} to spin/twirl/rotate someone or
something else), and that the difference between the two verbs is
semantic rather than grammatical. But he didn't elaborate on what the
difference was, hence my theory.


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