[tlhIngan Hol] be-verbs used as adjectives and the {-chu'}

Steven Boozer sboozer at uchicago.edu
Tue Aug 8 09:39:08 PDT 2017

We’ve had this discussion before.  This is a case where we must agree to differ.  I was unaware of the apparently unique paq’batlh example.  Thanks for bringing this to my attention.

But how is {Sutamchu'} different from {Sutamqu'}?  You’re either quiet or you’re not. I suppose in context there’s an implied action or effort:  keeping or forcing yourselves to be quiet {tam} under the circumstances, though I might have said {qatlh SutamtaH}.  Of course, this is poetry and could be word play – like everything in the paq’batlh! - but at least it shows the pattern is possible… though extremely rare. (I vaguely remember another example, but can’t think of it at the moment.)


From: tlhIngan-Hol [mailto:tlhingan-hol-bounces at lists.kli.org] On Behalf Of SuStel
On 8/8/2017 11:59 AM, Steven Boozer wrote:
In Power Klingon {-chu’} is described as a qualifying suffix which "indicates action is performed absolutely properly."  In other words, it’s used on action verbs.  Adjectival verbs (which Okrand calls “qualities”) are states of being, not actions, e.g. {Doq} “be red”.  To turn a quality into an action you need to add a suffix, i.e. {-moH} “cause” or {-choH} “become”.
{'eychu'bogh chab} doesn’t work because {'ey} “be good/delicious/tasty” is also an adjectival verb – even with {-bogh} – and doesn’t take {-chu’}.

I don't think Okrand was trying to make the distinction between actions and states here. He chose the word action instead of verb because he's speaking to the layman. I think 'eychu'bogh chab is perfectly legal.

There is an instance of -chu' on a quality verb in paq'batlh: qatlh Sutamchu' tlhIH Why are you all silent?



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