[tlhIngan Hol] can we apply {ngagh} to humans ?

De'vID de.vid.jonpin at gmail.com
Wed Dec 18 21:48:13 PST 2019

On Wed, 18 Dec 2019 at 22:17, qurgh lungqIj <qurgh at wizage.net> wrote:

> On Wed, Dec 18, 2019 at 4:06 PM SuStel <sustel at trimboli.name> wrote:
>> The answer is we don't know. The English glosses aren't enough to
>> determine this. The reason he probably thinks this might be the split is
>> because in English *mate* is something animals do, while *have sex* is
>> something people do, and this is how the glosses were given to us. Whether
>> the Klingon usages of the words matches the English usages of those
>> phrases, we don't know. Star Trek makes this determination even murkier,
>> since aliens are often said to *mate* with each other, while Terrans are
>> not.
> We do know that ngagh can refer to what "people" do, since we have
> {targhlIj yIngagh! yIruch!}. That's a clear example of one "person" telling
> another "person" to do an act with an "animal". To me, that usage seems to
> match with how we use the f-word, and is what led me to speculate that
> {ngagh} is what one thing does to another thing, regardless of if that
> thing would be classified as a "person" or an "animal".

The example of {targhlIj yIngagh} tells us nothing about whether it's a
verb that's *normally* used with "people", since the object is an animal
and the entire sentence is intended to be an insult. It might be like
"breed (with)" in English. It's normally used with animals, and if I were
to tell a person to "go breed with [someone]", it would be insulting. We
don't know whether the {targhlIj yIngagh} is insulting merely because the
object is an animal, or if the verb used is also typically used only with
animals. (By "animals", I mean non-people animals, of course.)

In other words, I'd steer clear of saying {luqara' ngagh qeylIS} or {qeylIS
ngagh luqara'} and say {nga'chuq qeylIS luqara' je}.

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