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

De'vID (

> I know that {meQ} is problematic.  Examples of the others?

chovnatlh vIghajbej.

lojmIt tI'wI' nuv 'utlh:
> The third classification has to do with whether the action is done to an object, or merely done by an agent (a.k.a. “subject”). Like {vIH}. We argued a lot about {vIH}.
> I’m pretty sure that we concluded that the thing with the changing location is the subject, not the object. If I move something, {vIvIHmoH}. If I move, {jIvIH}.

That would appear to be how it is used in canon:
"move, be in motion" (TKDA)
vIHtaH gho (KGT)
matay'DI' vIHtaHbogh bIQ rur mu'qaDmey. (PK)

According to my notes, there was an interview in HolQeD 7.4 (Dec.
1998), conducted by yourself, clarifying this with Marc Okrand:

--- begin HolQeD 7.4 interview excerpt ---
WM: I see that you need to strike a balance between restricting
yourself by making unnecessary claims about the language that do not
ultimately prove to be accurate and giving people enough information,
especially about particular verbs that are problematic so that people
can feel more confident about what they are doing with the language. I
think about verbs like {vIH} - "move, be in [[-:=--]] motion," which,
depending on which way you see it, you could believe that the word
"move" is there just to help you look it up.

MO: A lot of the definitions are there just to help you look them up.
We're not just talking about transitivity. In general a lot of things
are there because if I'm looking for a word in Klingon, I've got to
have an English tag so I can find it. The best definition might not be
a good tag. Once you find the tag, then you can hopefully find the
better definition.

WM: That makes sense with {vIH} in particular because "be in motion"
is not necessarily something that you could look up. But "move" would.

MO: Right.

WM: People have interpreted that to mean both "move" and "be in motion."

MO: I'll tell you what the intent was. The intent was "be in motion."

WM: So if I were to say, "I move this glass," it would be {HIvje'vam vIvIHmoH}.

MO: Right. Though, again, down the road... What I've learned is to
never say never.

WM: One might eventually find oneself having used it without {-moH}.

MO: Right. But you can say, "Usually..."
--- end HolQeD 7.4 interview excerpt ---

lojmIt tI'wI' nuv 'utlh:
> {mev}, {tagh}, {meQ} {So’} and {ghom}?
> I don’t really see these as alike, though it may simply be my evolved, personal relationship with each of these verbs.
> We know that {mev}, {tagh} and {So’} take objects. Lots of examples and the habits of most speakers suggest this. If I were to use any of these without an object, I’d add {-‘eghmoH} and be done with it, and would have little patience for anyone telling me that I’m wrong.

The thing that stops or ceases has been in both the subject and object
positions for {mev} in canon:
bIjatlh 'e' yImev! (TKD)
not mev peghmey. (PK) - I suppose this could be interpreted as
"secrets never stop [doing something unspecified]", though I think
that's much less natural than the interpretation that the secrets
themselves are never ceasing

{tagh} has been used both ways in canon:
Qu' DataghDI' 'aqtu' mellota' je tIqaw. (TKW)
taghbej mu'qaD veS. (PK)

{So'} has likewise been used both ways:
nuqDaq So'taH yaS? ("Where is the officer hiding [i.e., him/herself]?", TKD)
Duj So' ("He/she cloaks the ship", KGT)

In each case where the actor is in the subject, one could've put it in
the object with {-moHlu'} or {'eghmoH}, as you suggested:
not peghmey mevmoHlu'
mu'qaD vaS taghmoHlu'bej
nuqDaq So'eghmoHtaH yaS?

Nevertheless, for each of these verbs, there is canon to support both
"transitive" and "intransitive" forms.

lojmIt tI'wI' nuv 'utlh:
> I have {meQ} listed as intransitive (a term that Okrand hates) because of its use on page 111 of The Klingon Way. {meQtaHbogh qachDaq Suv qoH neH.} The house, subject of the verb {meQtaHbogh}, is the thing on fire. It is not a thing causing something else to burn. So, if I were to burn a house, I’d say, {qach vImeQmoH}. Someone might be able to argue that the {-moH} wasn’t necessary, but nobody can argue that it would be wrong.

But we also have:
to'waQ meQ vutwI'. (KGT)

Now, if I were to say {qul naQ vImeQmoH}, am I causing the match to be
on fire, or using the match to light something else? ({qul naQ}
"match" is from TalkNow!) Nobody can argue that it's wrong, but the
sentence is ambiguous (just like in a real language).

lojmIt tI'wI' nuv 'utlh:
> As for {ghom}, I always think of that as not taking an object. If you and I meet, it feels much more natural as {maghom} than {qaghom}. The latter sounds a little sloppy, like encoding English more than translating to Klingon. Likely, I’ve done it myself in a lazy moment.

And yet:
bInajtaHvIS qeylIS Daghomjaj! (PK)

But maybe Kahless is special. If you and I meet, {maghom}. But if
Kahless and I meet, {qeylIS vIghom}. Or maybe {bInajtaHvIS Sughomjaj
SoH qeylIS je} just didn't flow as nicely. (Would it be appropriate to
use {Su-} for "you and Kahless", if Kahless wasn't one of the people
being addressed?)

lojmIt tI'wI' nuv 'utlh:
> It’s similar to {nga’chuq} in that regard. It takes at least two. No one somebody does it to somebody else.

Marc has confirmed to me that the involved parties in {nga'chuq} are
all in the subject of the verb.

lojmIt tI'wI' nuv 'utlh:
> But Okrand changes his mind about things, so we have inconsistencies. In order to keep the glosses versatile, we lose some capacity to be specific.

I guess I'm more like him in that I enjoy the fact that Klingon is
messy and sometimes ambiguous, just like a real language.


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