[tlhIngan Hol] -chuqmoH & -'eghmoH

SuStel sustel at trimboli.name
Sat Dec 29 06:33:33 PST 2018

On 12/28/2018 8:48 PM, David Holt wrote:
> The paq'batlh contains the sentence {Qo'noS tuqmey muvchuqmoH qeylIS} 
> (p.179) implying that we can use {-chuq} with {-moH} to reflexively 
> refer to the subject of the main verb (which has become the object of 
> the verb with {-moH}).  Do we have other evidence of the same?

I don't think that implication is inevitable. The object of the sentence 
is not "the subject of the main verb." The subject is the subject, and 
the subject in this case is the causer. We've seen other sentences where 
adding a *-moH* doesn't change the role of the object at all.

There are other ways to interpret this. I think that Klingons don't see 
their sentences quite as mechanically as you're making them. I believe 
the scope of *-moH* is variable. Sometimes it applies directly to the 
verb, and sometimes it applies to the verb plus its object-affecting 
suffixes. In this case *-moH* means Kahless is causing the houses of 
Kronos to *muvchuq, *not just *muv.*

I think it's significant that /The Klingon Dictionary/ doesn't usually 
distinguish between direct and indirect object, and that verb prefixes 
can sometimes agree with indirect instead of direct objects. I think 
Klingons see the position before the verb as the "object" position, not 
necessarily the direct object position. Sometimes indirect objects 
belong there. Sometimes they don't.

Don't try to "subject of the main verb" this sort of thing. I don't 
think that's how *-moH* works. The subject remains the subject, whether 
it's causing something or not. It's just that the exact meaning of the 
object is fluid. It might be the thing performing the bare verb, or it 
might be the thing the bare verb is acting upon. Which one it is must be 
inferred by the listener.


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