[tlhIngan Hol] Maltz on {DIj}

Lieven L. Litaer levinius at gmx.de
Mon Sep 3 08:30:58 PDT 2018


Maltz told me that the object of {DIj} is the thing you paint on.

We are all constantly learning, and I can definitely admit that I've 
misinterpreted a verb: {QaghlIj yIchID; yIyoH} After all, we all know 
there are so many unclear verbs that need some clarification.

Thanks to De'vID for pointing me at this, by the way.

Here's the complete message from Marc Okrand, received today, 03 Sep 2018:


Hi, Lieven —

The object of {DIj} is the thing that's actually touched by a {rItlh 
naQ} resulting in a picture (or pattern or whatever) on a {nagh beQ}. So 
you'd say {nagh beQ yIDIj} "Paint the stone panel!" (and several variant 
translations).  This does not tell you what you are to portray on the 
panel.  For that, Maltz says, there are two ways to go.

In one way, you use the word {cha'} "show, display." So, for example, 
you could say {DI'raq Dacha'meH nagh beQ yIDIj} "Paint the stone panel 
with [a picture of] a sheep!" (literally: "Paint the stone panel with a 
pigment stick so that you display a sheep!").  Since {DIj} is already 
associated with {nagh beQ}, both in its literal meaning of "stone panel" 
(or the like) and its extended meaning of the artwork produced by this 
process (that is, what we'd call a "painting"), you can leave {nagh beQ} 
out and just say {DI'raq Dacha'meH yIDIj} "Paint [a picture of] a sheep!"

The second way makes use of the word {nargh}, which means both "appear" 
and "escape." You can say {DI'raq DanarghmoHmeH nagh beQ yIDIj} "Paint 
the stone panel with [a picture of] a sheep!" or, leaving {nagh beQ} out 
(as noted above), {DI'raq DanarghmoHmeH yIDIj}, which could be 
translated as "Paint [a picture of] a sheep!" But the literal meaning of 
these phrases is more interesting: "Paint (the stone panel) with a 
pigment stick so that you cause the sheep to appear!" or "Paint (the 
stone panel) with a pigment stick so that you cause the sheep to 
escape!"  This is similar to the usage of {qon} "record" for composing 
music or writing stories.  That is, the picture of the sheep already 
exists somehow in the stone, and the artist/painter (the {DIjwI'}) is 
enabling the picture to escape the confines of the stone and to appear 
to us.

Another way of doing this is without the {-moH} suffix. You can say 
{narghmeH DI'raq (nagh beQ) yIDIj} "Paint (the stone panel with) [a 
picture of] a sheep!"  Literally, this is something like "In order for 
the sheep to escape/appear, paint (the stone panel) with a pigment 
stick!"  This construction is heard less frequently.

I used the verb "paint" in the translations of the examples above, but 
the meaning of {DIj} has expanded to include producing a visual image 
even if no paint or pigment stick is involved — it's used if you sketch 
with a pencil, for example.  So it's okay to translate {DIj} as "draw." 
But the object of {DIj} is still what you're drawing on (paper, a stone, 
whatever), not what you're making a drawing of.  So {DI'raq yIDIj} might 
be translated "Draw (something) on a sheep!" while both {DI'raq 
Dacha'meH yIDIj} and {DI'raq DanarghmoHmeH yIDIj} can be translated 
"Draw a sheep!"

If you're painting (or drawing) on something other than a {nagh beQ}, 
you should specify what that is: {DI'raq Dacha'meH nav yIDIj} or {DI'raq 
DanarghmoHmeH nav yIDIj} "Draw a sheep on the paper!"

Maltz said that both the {cha'} and {nargh} versions are used, but the 
{cha'} version is a bit more common in informal settings and the {nargh} 
version (usually the {narghmoH} variant) is more common in literature or 
in discussions about art.

Maltz also said that you can use these constructions if you're drawing 
using a computer or with an Etch A Sketch (Zaubertafel?) (this despite 
the fact that what the Etch A Sketch is doing is more like {ghItlh}-ing 
than {DIj}-ing).

I hope all of this doesn't cause any problems or delays for "The Little 
Prince" (and I also hope that I haven't opened up Pandora's {DerlIq}).

  - Marc


Lieven L. Litaer
aka the "Klingon Teacher from Germany"

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