[tlhIngan Hol] Joining two questions with {pagh}

SuStel sustel at trimboli.name
Tue Jan 29 08:14:08 PST 2019


On 1/29/2019 10:20 AM, Will Martin wrote:
> discovering that the flip side of his love for the beauty of Klingon 
> grammar is that he absolutely despises Okrand’s decisions about how to 
> handle ditransitive verbs with {-moH}.

I've come to a much fuller understanding of how and why this works the 
way it does. I can actually think in these terms now. Please allow me to 
illustrate it for you. You may find it useful in reconciling yourself to 
the way things are.

First of all, think of Klingon grammar as a lot less rigid than we used 
to in the old days. We used to think that when adding *-moH,* the 
subject becomes the object, period. The reality is more nuanced than that.

Klingon syntax has subjects and objects. But note that when we say 
/object,/ we're not necessarily saying /direct/ or /indirect/ object. 
TKD doesn't make the distinction until the Addendum, wherein it first 
introduces the idea that *-vaD* can mark indirect objects.

In Klingon, an object can be either direct or indirect, and sometimes 
the difference is purely contextual. For instance, we have seen that we 
can say *puq ghojmoH HoD*/The captain teaches the child; the captain 
causes the child to learn,/ but we can also say *'otlhQeD ghojmoH 
HoD*/The captain teaches physics; the captain causes (someone) to learn 
physics./ In the first case, the *puq* is not having something done to 
him or her; he or she is doing something. Therefore, the *puq* is not a 
direct object. It must be an indirect object. In the second case, 
*'otlhQeD* is having something done to it (it is being learned), so it 
is a direct object. Notice that being caused to do something does not 
count as having something done to you; what's important is whether the 
root verb is an action being done to you.

When you want to talk about both the thing being acted upon (*'otlhQeD,* 
the direct object) and the thing who benefits from or receives the 
action (*puq,* the indirect object), the direct object takes the object 
position and the indirect object gets marked with *-vaD* and goes in the 
front. *puqvaD 'otlhQeD ghojmoH HoD.* Basically, the direct object 
trumps the indirect object and pushes it away from the verb. The captain 
causes something to happen; learning happens, physics is learned, the 
child is the target of all this.

This flexibility of objects is why you can simultaneously have 
*qaja'pu'*/I told you/ and *lut vIja'pu'*/I told the story./ In the 
first case there's no direct object to get in the way of the indirect 
object being the syntactic object of the verb. In the second the verb 
has an explicit direct object. If you wanted to say whom you told the 
story to, you would say *puqvaD lut vIja'.* This isn't even a *-moH* 
issue. Both direct and indirect objects can go in the object position, 
but if you have both the direct object wins and the indirect object goes 
to *-vaD.*

-- 
SuStel
http://trimboli.name

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