[tlhIngan Hol] qepHom grammar questions

nIqolay Q niqolay0 at gmail.com
Fri Oct 6 10:04:00 PDT 2017

My primary disagreement with you in this thread was this: I thought you
were applying an overly-strict, technical definition to Okrand's use of the
term "indirect direct" that was not implied or justified by the text. I
don't doubt that there is a linguistic distinction between benefactives and
recipients that can be useful in understanding grammars. But my position
was that TKD and Okrand's other writings are not written at a strictly
technical level, and are geared more towards a less formal, more "English
101" understanding of English grammar. For instance, he has said he wrote
the pronunciation section to be non-technical.

As a result, TKD may contain simplifications of grammar terms, like how a
biology 101 text might give a simple definition of "species" that doesn't
include various technical nuances and debates but is still useful for
introductory purposes. My assertion was that at this non-technical level of
English grammar discussion, the term "indirect object" is usually taken to
include the notion of beneficiaries, and that this is Okrand's intended
reading of the term. (From my viewpoint, it felt like if an entomologist
were arguing that *ghew* can only apply to hemipterans and lice because of
the more specific definitions of the glosses "bug" and "cootie".)

I was using my own recollections of high school and college English as a
proxy for how the average layperson might think about and interpret notions
of "indirect objects". However, after this discussion, I looked up some
online grammar resources, and my recollections were not entirely correct.
You were correct that the notion of indirect objects only applies to
transitive verbs, and that a sentence like *jIHvaD qab Sojvam* does not
contain an indirect object. I was incorrect that "indirect object" could be
taken as a synonym for all *-vaD* nouns. I should not have dug in my heels
so deeply on it.* vIttlhegh vIqawnIS: QaghmeylIj tIchID, yIyoH.* *reH
Suvrup SuvwI''a'.*

(I am still curious if you can use the prefix trick on stative or
intransitive verbs, even if the *-vaD* noun is not a literal indirect
object. It would require a slight retcon of the prefix trick definition,
but I think it would make Klingon a little bit weirder and more different
from English. It is an alien language, after all. But I admit it's

That said, though, I also found support for my argument that "indirect
object" can be understood to include a beneficiary, at least when speaking
in less technical sense.
For instance: "The indirect object is characteristically associated with
the semantic role of recipient, as in these examples. But it may have the
role of beneficiary (the one for whom something is done), as in *Do me a
favour* or *Call me a taxi*, and it may be interpreted in other ways, as
seen from examples like *This blunder cost us the match*, or *I envy you
your good fortune*." (A Student's Introduction to English Grammar, by
Rodney Huddleston, Geoffrey K. Pullum, 2005, read here

There are also dictionary definitions that include the notion of a
beneficiary: "an object that is used with a transitive verb to indicate who
benefits from an action or gets something as a result", or "a noun, pronoun,
or noun phrase indicating the recipient or beneficiary of the action of a
verb and its direct object" (both from here
and so on.
I also found several grammar references intended for non-technical English
speakers that describe the direct object as receiving the action of the
verb (one
, two <http://www.dailygrammar.com/Lesson-146-Noun-Pronoun-Review.htm>,
and more; some sources also describe the subject in passive voice as
receiving the action, such as this
This was Okrand's definition of an object, which you took issue with. To
me, this is further evidence that he was writing to a lay audience in TKDa,
not an audience familiar with specific linguistic distinctions or
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