[tlhIngan Hol] the {nargh} the other {nargh} and the {-vo'}

SuStel sustel at trimboli.name
Mon Nov 21 17:41:53 PST 2016

On 11/21/2016 7:56 PM, André Müller wrote:
> Another idea, unrelated to the syntactic workings of {nargh}: maybe 
> they're in fact not 2 distinct homophonic verbs, but one verb with 2 
> quite different translations in English. Escaping and appearing might 
> just be different viewpoints of the same action, just like "come" and 
> "go" are both {ghoS} or {jaH} and context (often {-vo'} decides how to 
> interpret it. Klingon isn't the only language which does that. One of 
> the languages of Burma that I am working on (Jinghpaw, pronounced 
> exactly like {jIngpo'} in Klingon by the way!) also only has one word 
> "sa" to mean both 'come' and 'go'.
> So perhaps {nargh} describes the concept of suddenly changing its 
> state of presence. One can, sort of, appear to a place, or away from a 
> place. Or a thing might suddenly escape from nowhere into sight, and 
> then suddenly escape out of your sight again.

Okrand himself has floated this suggestion, in /The Klingon Way, /p. 145:

    *When a warrior dies, his spirit escapes.*

    *HeghDI' SuvwI' nargh SuvwI' qa'*

    When a Klingon dies, it is thought that his spirit leaves his body
    and goes to join the spirits of other dead Klingons. This is marked
    in the Klingon Death Ritual when the surviving comrades howl—a
    warning to the dead that a warrior's spirit is on its way. The body,
    once the spirit has left it, is considered a worthless shell and is
    discarded unceremoniously. Exactly what Klingons think the spirit is
    doing when it leaves the body is a little unclear. The verb
    *"nargh,"* found in the saying cited above, means "escape," but the
    same word, or a phonetically identical one, means "appear." Thus,
    perhaps the Klingons are saying that when a warrior dies, his spirit
    appears, whereas prior to death it was hidden or disguised by the
    body. Another interpretation is that the spirit was held prisoner by
    the body. Worf told Jeremy, whose mother had been killed, "In my
    tradition, we do not grieve the loss of the body. We celebrate the
    releasing of the spirit."


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