[tlhIngan Hol] muvchuqmoH. seriously ?

André Müller esperantist at gmail.com
Thu Jul 28 09:34:09 PDT 2016

I think the main "problem" (not really a problem) is that the rule
presented in TKD referred specifically just to V+chuq and it's true for
that one. Marc Okrand probably really didn't take into account that the
verb syntax changes with the addition of {-moH}. So his original wording
was supposed to explain just how V and V+chuq differ, to explain what
{-chuq} does. So in that way, we could either say you interpreted the rule
in TKD too rigidly, or it was formulated without thinking of other
valency-changing options. Both can be true at the same time. No one has
ever said anything about {-chuqmoH} or {-'eghmoH} because it was clear to
everyone how they worked and it was probably never an issue to anyone. Or
no one has ever felt the need to use or question such a construction. It's
pretty clear that the explanations of {-moH} and {-chuq} somehow clash, but
nowhere was it explicitly stated that they couldn't be used together, and
it doesn't seem logical to assume that they couldn't be used together

But I must correct you: these suffixes explicitly do not only cause
semantic change, they clearly do cause syntactic change. If you want to use
these terms or ignore them as "rigamarole" is your choice. Other
klingonists do find this terminology useful. Why not name things for what
they are? Oversimplification and mixing up semantics and syntax doesn't
really help. But yes, so as to not exclude anyone, these terms should be

So, yes. {-moH} does change the syntax. A former intransitive verb becomes
transitive, in other words: a verb with only one actant, like "sleep",
becomes a verb with two actants, i.e. "put to sleep", "cause to sleep",
"tranquilize". The semantics don't change as much as the syntax changes.
The former subject becomes the new object (or causee), and a new argument
is introduces as the new subject: the causer.
Same with {-chuq}: what used to be subject and object now are merged and
become the new subject. You can see that because their position is now
after the verb, and the agreement prefixes agree with them in the way they
agree with subjects of intransitive verbs like "sleep". The semantic change
here is that the action is mutual, and is exchanged between the former
subject and object.

jIQong. = 1 argument (the sleeper), no object possible, intransitive - "I
vIQongmoH. = 2 arguments (causer & causee, who is also the sleeper),
transitive - "I make him sleep."
jIQong'eghmoH. = 1 argument (causer=causee), intransitive again - "I make
myself sleep."

vIlegh. = 2 arguments (seer & seee), transitive - "I see him."
maleghchuq. = 1 argument (seer=see as a group), intransitive - "We see each
vIleghchuqmoH. = 2 arguments (causer & causee=seer=see), transitive - "I
make them see each other."
maleghchuqmoH. = 1 argument (causer=causee=seer=see), intransitive - "We
make each other sleep."

The last sentence is the thing I raised in my previous message, and I could
imagine not everyone agrees that it's possible. Prior to today, would you
have not accepted sentences like {vIleghchuqmoH} or {jIQong'eghmoH}?

- André

2016-07-28 17:48 GMT+02:00 SuStel <sustel at trimboli.name>:

> On 7/28/2016 11:24 AM, Rhona Fenwick wrote:
> jIjatlhpu' jIH:
> > if the bare verb was univalent to begin with (i.e. couldn't normally take
> > an object, like {Qong}, {QaQ}), then the derivative with {-'eghmoH}
> > probably cannot take an object either. How would one shoehorn an
> > explicit object into, say, {bel'eghmoH} "please oneself"?
> mujangpu' SuStel, jatlh:
> > It's not a question of valency, it's a question of syntactic roles. What
> is
> > having something done to it? That's your object.
> I think we're saying the same thing in two different ways. The two
> agreement slots of a verb (and thus its valency) correspond to the
> syntactic roles of subject and object in any case. All I'm getting at
> is that the way {-'egh} and {-moH} together affect the structure of verb
> agreement (and therefore syntactic roles) should imply that if you can't
> add an object to a bare verb {X}, you probably can't add one to the verb
> {X-'eghmoH} either. Do you disagree?
> I believe I disagree. If I wanted to say *I cause the Klingon to please
> himself,* that could be *tlhIngan vIbel'eghmoH jIH.* I am doing
> something. Something is being done to the Klingon. Subject and object. The
> *-'egh* tells me that the performer of *bel* (and not the subject, as TKD
> says) pleases himself; the *-moH* tells me that the subject of the
> sentence causes the action to happen.
> These suffixes cause only semantic changes. Whatever meaning the suffixes
> add to the verb, it still takes one subject that is the performer of the
> verb and one object that is the performee of the verb. If you want to go
> through a rigamarole of valences and transitivity and so on, have fun. I
> feel confident Okrand wasn't thinking about those things; he was thinking
> of syntax.
> You specifically challenged whether the sentences showed anything
> exceptional or new, and that's what I responded to. It's exceptional in
> that it explicitly violates two rules about *-chuq, *whatever the
> justification. It's new in that no one ever said anything about it before.
> --
> SuStelhttp://trimboli.name
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