[tlhIngan Hol] Rendered fat

SuStel sustel at trimboli.name
Fri Feb 17 21:18:55 PST 2017

On 2/17/2017 11:24 PM, Ed Bailey wrote:
> On Fri, Feb 17, 2017 at 5:36 PM, David Holt <kenjutsuka at live.com 
> <mailto:kenjutsuka at live.com>> wrote:
>     I have a project I'm working on and I would like to figure out the
>     most efficient way to elicit the image of rendered fat as a
>     thing.  Is {tlhag} the subject of {'Im} and thus {'Impu'wI'} might
>     work? Or is {tlhag} the object of {'Im} and thus we might have to
>     go with the unwieldy {tlhagh 'Imlu'pu'bogh}?  What about {-wI'}
>     with {-lu'} - {'Imlu'pu'wI'}?
>     Jeremy
> Oh, boy, the {-lu'} plus {-wI'} thing again! I so wish MO would 
> finally rule on this, since it's immediately obvious to some this 
> combination nominalizes the same way as "-ee" in "employee," but 
> others regard the construction as grammatical gibberish, and they seem 
> to have convinced most to avoid using it. (I can't help but suspect 
> the difficulty with {-lu'} plus {-wI'} has a lot to do with a 
> programming background, since the objection is often phrased as "I 
> can't make that mean anything," which sounds a lot like a compiler 
> error to me.)

I understand your interpretation perfectly well, thank you very much. I 
just think it's wrong.

*-wI'* has the effect of nominalizing the verb into the subject of that 
verb. A *vutwI'* is the thing that performs *vut,* the subject of *vut.*

If you were to say **vutlu'wI',* you'd be trying to nominalize the verb 
into a nonexistent subject. No one in particular performs *vutlu',* so 
it makes no sense to talk about the noun that performs *vutlu'.*

If **vutlu'wI'* were to mean /that which is cooked,/ you'd be 
nominalizing the verb into its object, which is not what *-wI'* does. 
There's a very strong reason to think that's what it means if you're 
thinking in English: English passive voice turns the thing acted upon 
into the subject. *Soj vutlu'*/the food is cooked,/ so it would seem 
natural to say nominalizing that refers to the food. But it doesn't. 
English passive voice doesn't exist in Klingon; the active voice 
translation of *Soj vutlu'* is /one cooks the food,/ and so we're 
nominalizing the verb into the cook. But that's no different than 
nominalizing straight *vut,* so the *-lu'* has absolutely nothing to do 
with the meaning of *-wI'.* The two simply don't go together.

As for a parallel with English /-ee,/ remember that *-wI'* is equivalent 
to English /-er,/ not /-ee,/ and even in English you need a whole 
different suffix to nominalize to the object instead of the subject.

The only way this could work would be if Okrand were to arbitrarily make 
up a new rule that says adding *-wI'* to a verb with *-lu'* changes the 
process to refer to the object of the verb instead of the subject. He 
hasn't said this, he hasn't done this, and there is no way to deduce 
that rule from existing rules. It only seems right because you're 
thinking in English passive voice.

> "Boil" can take an object or not, of course, but the online OED gives 
> only transitive definitions for "render":
> "Melt down (fat) in order to clarify it.
> /‘the fat was being cut up and rendered for lard’/
> Process (the carcass of an animal) in order to extract proteins, fats, 
> and other usable parts.
> /‘the rendered down remains of sheep’ "
> /
> So I'd expect {tlhag} is the object of {'Im}. 'ej bIjatlhchugh 
> <'Imlu'pu'wI'>, vay' 'Imlu'pu'bogh 'oH 'e' SIbI' vIyaj.

Why are we dropping the h in *gh*?

Clearly, the correct phrase is *tlhagh 'Imlu'pu'bogh*/rendered fat./ I'm 
not sure why this is supposed to be unwieldy; Okrand has used this sort 
of formation a number of times. *Soj vutlu'pu'bogh*/food that somebody 
has prepared/ as opposed to *Soj tlhol*/raw, unprocessed food;/*boqrat 
chej Qevlu'pu'bogh*/stewed bokrat liver;/ *pIpyuS pach 
HaHlu'pu'bogh*/marinated pipius claw /(all from KGT);*to'baj 'uSHom 
lughoDlu'bogh*/stuffed tobaj leg /(PK).


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