[tlhIngan Hol] -lu'wI' (was: Rendered fat)

Anthony Appleyard a.appleyard at btinternet.com
Sat Feb 18 03:11:48 PST 2017

Computer-analyzing the 4 verb forms
translating "wIlegh   wIleghlu'   nulegh   nuleghlu'":-
(1) wIlegh may mean: -- PP:we/[him|it] V:see :: we see him/it
(2) wIleghlu' may mean:- - PP:we/[him|it] V:see VS5:indef_subject
(3) nulegh may mean:- - PP:[he|it|they]/us V:see :: he/they see us
(4) nuleghlu' may mean:- - PP:[he|it|they]/us V:see VS5:indef_subject
and it would be expected that (4) means "one sees us" and that (2) contradicts itself about what the subject is.
But TKD says as a special rule that (2) means "one sees us", "we are seen", and says nothing directly about (4).
This reminds me of what happens in Celtic (where -r means "indefinite subject") compared to what happens in Latin (where "videmus" = "we see" and "videmur" means "we are seen".) In Latin, adding the "-r" makes the "-mus" change from specifying the one who sees to specifying the one who is seen, and that tense is called a passive, with "we" in subject position but meaning the one who is seen. This looks like that wIleghlu' is partly describable as a passive, making leghlu'wI' possible for "one who is seen".
----Original message----
>From : sustel at trimboli.name
Date : 18/02/2017 - 05:18 (GMTST)
To : tlhingan-hol at lists.kli.org
Subject : Re: [tlhIngan Hol] Rendered fat
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.
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