[tlhIngan Hol] The prefix trick and indefinite subjects

Daniel Dadap daniel at dadap.net
Sat Dec 22 18:01:59 PST 2018

> On Dec 22, 2018, at 16:21, SuStel <sustel at trimboli.name> wrote:
>> On 12/22/2018 6:50 PM, Daniel Dadap wrote:
>> I asked this question on the Discord server a while back and got an opinion, but I wondered about it again recently, so I was curious to hear other opinions.
>> Can the prefix trick be used with -lu'? For example,
>> vIleghlu': I was seen
>> Or do we have to make the indefinite subject explicit, with vay':
>> mulegh vay': Somebody saw me
> I don't understand how this has anything to do with the prefix trick. vIleghlu' is the normal way to say I am seen*. The prefix trick becomes involved when you're using a verb prefix to indicate an indirect object instead of a direct object. I suppose the question might be whether something like jIHvaD ghaH chuplu' He is recommended to me could be altered via the prefix trick: would it be ghaH vIchuplu'? I don't see any technical reason why it couldn't be done, but as you say, it has never been seen in canon so there's no supporting evidence for it either.

Yes, I wrote a bad example for asking my question. Your example illustrates my actual question. Hagh qoHpu' neH HeghtaHvIS SuvwI'pu'.

The original thing I was asking about was part of a relative clause so I wanted to simplify the example but I guess I made it too simple and omitted an actual indirect object which was the point of the prefix trick. The clause was “Sep vIDellu'bogh” which I used in the sentence:

pa' Sep'e' jInajtaHvIS vIDellu'bogh tu'lu'
Over there there is a region that was described to me while I was dreaming

(There are probably other problems with this sentence; I wasn’t sure where to place the jInajtaHvIS, for example, which is also why I wanted to simplify the example.)

I went with “muDelbogh vay'” since it didn’t affect syllable count or the rhyme at the end of the line (rhyming with “jenqu'” in the previous line) and the meter actually worked out better too that way.

> * I was seen would normally be expressing a single instance of being seen, rather than a general state of being seen or anything like that, and would usually appear as vIleghlu'pu'.

If I’m telling a story about something that happened in the past, and talking about being seen in the moment the story, I feel it would be appropriate, even if the listener knows the events are completed from the frame of reference of the actual present, right?

> -- 
> SuStel
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