[tlhIngan Hol] qepHom grammar questions

SuStel sustel at trimboli.name
Wed Oct 4 12:58:28 PDT 2017

On 10/4/2017 3:12 PM, nIqolay Q wrote:
> On Wed, Oct 4, 2017 at 1:32 PM, SuStel <sustel at trimboli.name 
> <mailto:sustel at trimboli.name>> wrote:
>     I didn't say anything about /physically./ The target of the prefix
>     is someone who receives the outcome of the action. *Sa'ang:*//you
>     receive the outcome of my showing, you see something; *qajatlh:*
>     you receive the outcome of my speaking, you hear something. But
>     with *muqab*, I don't receive the outcome of its being bad.
>     Nothing actually happens to me.
> Something does happen to me, though - something bad. That's what 
> *jIHvaD qab* ("For the purposes of me, it's bad", "It's bad for me") 
> implies -- that whatever it is (e.g. too much Terran food) has or 
> would have some negative outcome for me.

No. In *jIHvaD qab,* nothing has happened to you. The subject of *qab* 
has had a quality described, but it has not acted upon you in any way. 
Here *jIH* is a benefactive, not an indirect object.

> I don't think so. I think Okrand was looking for a way to express 
> "indirect object," and saw that *-vaD* often did that job, because one 
> sort of beneficiary is an indirect object. So he gives it this role in 
> TKD Addendum 6.8. "The indirect object may be considered the 
> beneficiary," not that the beneficiary may be considered the indirect 
> object.
> 1) How do you know this for sure? We know TKD is not 100% 
> linguistically precise.

I don't know for sure; I said I don't think so. Given the order in which 
these meanings developed, benefactive first, indirect object second, and 
given the language of TKD 6.8 ("the indirect object may be considered 
the beneficiary," not "the beneficiary may be considered the indirect 
object"), and given that all of canon seems to align with my 
explanation, I feel good about my conclusion.

> 2) Looking up the linguistic definition of "indirect object", it means 
> something like "something indirectly affected by the action of the 
> verb", which suggests that beneficiaries are a subset of indirect 
> objects, not the other way around.

TKD's definitions don't always match up with general linguistic 
definitions, and linguistic definitions don't always agree with each 
other, and I think that's the case here. I presented some terms and 
defined them so we'd have a common terminology.

In linguistics, "beneficiary" is often synonymous with "indirect 
object," but an indirect object is more than just something that is 
indirectly affected by the verb. It is something that receives in some 
way the direct object. In Klingon, the direct object may be left general 
or indefinite, but this still applies.

TKD uses the word "beneficiary" for *-vaD,* but it then goes on to 
describe it as /for, intended for./ It is the noun "for whom or for 
which the activity occurs." An activity can occur "for" you without 
being given to you. *Qu'vaD lI' De'vam*/This information is useful for 
the mission:/ nobody is being given anything, whether physically or 
consequentially; the information is useful, and that usefulness is for 
my benefit. The being useful doesn't make me receive anything. (Maybe 
being useful leads to my getting secrets, but that's another sentence. 
In this one, the *-vaD* is only the /for, intended for/ meaning.) This 
isn't what an indirect object is at all.

I called the above meaning "benefactive," and this is another general 
linguistic term that may not necessarily match the Klingon exactly. 
Different languages have different scopes to their benefactive elements, 
if they have them at all.

Meanwhile, TKD doesn't mention indirect objects or an indirect object 
meaning of *-vaD* until the second edition and the Addendum is published 
with it. Here it tells us, not that since *-vaD* means "indirect object" 
that we should use it for indirect objects; it's prescribing for us a 
new rule: you can signal an indirect object by slapping a *-vaD* on it, 
because Klingons consider the recipient of an action someone whom the 
action is /intended for./ This was not deducible prior to the second 
edition TKD and the canon that led to it, though it was not a completely 
arbitrary rule either: benefactives and indirect objects are related.

So that's the situation we have today. Benefactives, which tell you the 
action occurs for you or is intended for you, and indirect objects, 
which tell you that you receive the direct object that comes out of a 
verb, both use *-vaD.* They use the same suffix because their meanings 
are related, but they are not identical. Benefactives came first; 
indirect objects were added on later. The prefix trick is only described 
to us as working with indirect objects, not with all *-vaD* nouns, and 
we've only ever seen it used with indirect objects. Trying to make it 
work with benefactive *-vaD* makes us uncomfortable.


-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.kli.org/pipermail/tlhingan-hol-kli.org/attachments/20171004/912aa731/attachment-0004.htm>

More information about the tlhIngan-Hol mailing list