[tlhIngan Hol] At the qepHom ask about the vonlu'

nIqolay Q niqolay0 at gmail.com
Fri Oct 27 09:30:24 PDT 2017

On Fri, Oct 27, 2017 at 11:59 AM, mayqel qunenoS <mihkoun at gmail.com> wrote:

> Another thing which perhaps needs clarification is the vonlu'.
> A little bird told me, that at the kgt it is written {bIvonlu'pu'} instead
> of {Davonlu'pu'}.
> So, this raises the question, whether the {-lu'} shoved up the {von} of
> {vonlu'} is the indefinite subject suffix which we all know and love, or
> whether it is just a {lu'} which happened to cross the street while this
> word was being created.
> So, could someone write {vonlu'lu'} for "someone has failed utterly " ?

It's a slang term, so it might not obey grammar rules 100%. My guess is
either it's simply a typo for *Davonlu'pu'*, or the slang meaning uses
prefixes with *-lu'* in an unusual way that was unelaborated on. The
literal translation of the slang term is "someone has trapped you", so it
would make sense for the *-lu'* to be still considered as the suffix
itself, even if they use prefixes differently with it. So I don't think it
would make much sense to say *vonlu'lu'*. But it's slang anyway, so maybe
the meaning would still get across even if it's not 100% grammatical.

And if it is indeed the indefinite subject suffix {-lu'}, then for "someone
> again failed utterly", do we write {vonqa'lu'} or {vonlu'qa'} ? Because if
> we write {vonqa'lu'} how would someone be able to differentiate from the
> {vonqa'lu'} which would mean "someone trapped him/them again" ?

If the *-lu'* is supposed to be the suffix and not a part of the verb,
which is probably the case, then it should be *vonqa'lu'*. Context will
make it clear whether someone means the literal "he/she has been entrapped
again" vs. "he/she has failed utterly again" -- if the person in question
is not literally in a trap of some kind, then it's probably the latter.

> I'm tired of having to "throw the cards" (greek expression meaning "trying
> to guess"), in order to clarify grammar which should have been already
> clarified at numerous qep'a'mey and qepHommey so far (as is the case with
> {ngIq}, the verb prefix after a {joq}, etc etc etc..).

It's entirely possible these questions had simply never come up before.
Most communication can be done just fine without having to get too close to
unfamiliar grammatical territory. For instance, I've been fiddling around
with Klingon since the late nineties, and the question of number agreement
with *joq* hadn't occured to me until a year or so ago. And the stuff from
the slang section of KGT doesn't come up very often; most discussion here
is done in "formal" Klingon. Okrand is just one person, he can't anticipate
every possible question, and it's not like we can lock him in a room and
make him answer every question we've ever had. There's not many Klingonists
to begin with, so it might be a while before somebody notices some issue.
This is just one of the things you have to accept if you're going to study
a fictional language designed by one person.
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