[tlhIngan Hol] [tlhIngan-Hol] A question on {ngIq}

qurgh lungqIj qurgh at wizage.net
Wed Jun 8 12:23:09 PDT 2016

On Wed, Jun 8, 2016 at 12:46 PM, De'vID <de.vid.jonpin at gmail.com> wrote:

> Yes. But why can't it be both, just like the English word "move" or
> "maneuver"?

> I think you're drawing the distinction between what I'll call an
> abstract "move-template" and a concrete "move-action" here, so I'll
> use that terminology below.

To me it's because the gloss is "fighting technique" not "fighting move". A
"technique" is a description of how to do something (a move-template), not
the actual doing of it (move-action). For that we have verbs like {chaQ},
{ngol}, {lev}, {pup}, etc. Those are words for the "move-actions".

I don't see why these options have to be exclusive? Your character
> perhaps knows the *{ro' tonSaw'}, *{HoS tonSaw'}, and *{maS tonSaw'}
> (these are his move templates which he can execute), and as the
> opening move maybe you execute the *{ro' tonSaw'} (this is the first
> move-action actually executed).

The character could use the {ro' tonSaw'} (move-template) to execute a hit
with the fist (move-action), or a {HoS tonSaw'} (move-template) to send a
fireball (move-action) at his opponent. He used the knowledge gained from
learning the {tonSaw'} to make his limbs move but he didn't DO the
{tonSaw'}. (After he learned a fighting technique, he used the fighting
technique to do X, he didn't do the fighting technique). In English you can
both learn a move and do a move (learn a technique and take an action based
on it), but I don't see why this slang meaning of "move" should be carried
over to Klingon.

> The source for how I've interpreted {tonSaw'} comes from you,
> actually. You reported that Maltz suggested {tonSaw' Qav} for "The
> Final Reflection" under the belief that a "reflection" is a type of
> move (move-template) in the game of klin zha. But if it's important to
> preserve the "mirror" connotation of this move, he suggested {neSlo'
> tonSaw' Qav}. The fact that you can use {Qav} to describe a {tonSaw'}
> suggests that, under this meaning, it is a "move" in the move-action


To me this is "the final mirror fighting technique", it's the last
technique (move-template) that people playing the Reflective game would use
to win it. It's not the physical action of picking up a piece and placing
it (move-action). {tonSaw'} are used during fighting/playing, but the
"move-actions" done while following the techniques are not the techniques
themselves, they are the results of the techniques. It's like how knowing
how to plant a tree (move-template) and planting a tree (move-action) are
not the same thing in my mind.

> > Moving a piece in Chess could be considered a {tonSaw'}?
> I would think so, if making "the final reflection" (the finishing move
> in a game of klin zha) is to use {[neSlo'] tonSaw' Qav}, then moving a
> piece in chess seems to me to be exactly a {tonSaw'}.

I'd argue that the way in which the pieces move would be {tonSaw'mey}
(move-templates), but physically moving a piece isn't (move-action). In
Monopoly the verbs {HeD} and {jaH} are used to refer to physically moving
the playing pieces (go back 3 spaces, move to go). Those would be

> {notlh tonSaw'lIj} suggests that that meaning might also work, i.e.,
> "the technique you're trying to use (your move-template) is obsolete".
> Although, I suppose that this also makes sense under the other
> interpretation, i.e., "the actual thing you're doing (your
> move-action) is obsolete". They effectively amount to the same thing.

If your action is based on an obsolete technique, then I could see how
people would extend the obsoleteness to the action too, although I'd
wrinkle my nose at that usage. This is all very subjective though, as
something that is obsolete for one person may be new for someone else. When
it comes to fighting, it would mean that I know techniques that can be used
to nullify the techniques you know without you knowing the new techniques I

> I don't think Kahless used only one move in the entire fight. (Or
> maybe he did? I don't have the paq'batlh with me right now to check.)
> It's just that the particular paragraph with {ngIq tonSaw'} is focused
> on just that one final move (move-action).

Speaking of paq'batlh, there's more references to {tonSaw'} in it. I don't
have the English with me though, but I've included my own translations.

Here's the lines that surround the "Single move" block:

tugh qaStaHvIS rep wejDIch
   molor cha' tIqDu' DuQchu' qeylIS
   'ej lel
ngIq tonSaw' lo' 'ej tIqDu' lel
   ngIq tonSaw' lo' 'ej quvqa'
   ngIq tonSaw' lo' 'ej rIn may'

(Soon while the third hour is happening, Kahless stabbed molor's two hearts
and took them out. he used a single technique and he took out the hearts,
he used a single technique and he became honored again, he used a single
technique and the battle was finished)

After looking at this expanded text, this all makes more sense. The
move-action has been described which is made up of two actions (Stabbing
two hearts and taking them out), but it then referred to as a single
technique (which makes sense to be, since a technique could be a collection
of different physical actions (like a judo lock isn't just X, it's X, then
Y, then Z done in sequence)). If {tonSaw'} referred to the the
"move-actions" themselves that Kahless took, it would have to be plural
because he stabbed and then took out (you can't push in and out at the same
time! :D).

There's also this (which comes before the above passage), showing that
{moQbara'} has many {tonSaw'mey} that can be displayed, and that {tonSaw'}
by itself can be considered plural:

maghomchuqqa'DI' SuyInbejmeH
   DaH moQbara' tonSaw'mey

(When we once again meet one another, in order that you all certainly live,
now I will display the techniques of the Mokbara)

muvchuqmeH yabmaj porghmaj je
   muvchuqqa'meH porgh qa' je
   moQbara' tonSaw' DIlo'jaj

(In order for our body and our mind to join one another, in order for the
spirit and the body to join one another, may we use the techniques of the

I think the rest of the message about cleaning/feeding cats is mainly
correct. The only thing I would add is that when we talk about having
multiple items but we only end up doing something to a single one of them,
{ngIq} most likely shouldn't be used and a number should be used instead
({vagh vIghro' vIghaj. wa' vIghro' vISay'moH} - "I have 5 cats. I clean a
single one").

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