[tlhIngan Hol] Joining two questions with {pagh}

Will Martin willmartin2 at mac.com
Tue Jan 29 09:34:34 PST 2019


This description of the issue at hand is very well said; eloquently and accurately put.

It’s not that I don’t understand it. I just don’t like it.

I don’t have the right to suggest that it is anything but the complete, perfect truth. My response to it is visceral and beyond my control, and I’m not interested in having anyone else join me in my disapproval.

It’s closer to the way that HoD Qanqor dislikes the suggestion that he should be named Qanqor HoD. I had an understanding of things that predated the more detailed explanation by many years. Upon seeing that mine was a misunderstanding, I find myself incapable of adjusting to this specific change. I should. I know I should.

I can’t.

I might even like the idea of making the change. Maybe someday, I can achieve the change. Until then, I am stubbornly wrong at an uncorrectable internal level. The part of me that loves the language won’t let go. I wrestle with it, but it’s got a grip that is beyond my capacity to describe in a way that others might understand. It’s wholly irrational. Chalk it up to knowing the language of an earlier Emperor or of a regional dialect.

I don’t want a schism. I’m not interested in being a leader for those who will join me in doing it my way. I just don’t want to use that particular grammatical form. I will break things down into smaller sentences in order to avoid it, without being wrong. I will let it pass without comment when I see others using the correct form. I can understand it. I just can’t speak or write the words, not because I don’t know how. I just can’t.

I know you are thoroughly right on this, and I am wrong.

I am doomed to continue to be wrong for the foreseeable future. It’s a side effect of caring about the language. It’s an ugly, undesirable side effect. I don’t recommend it to anyone.

charghwI’ ‘utlh



> On Jan 29, 2019, at 11:14 AM, SuStel <sustel at trimboli.name> wrote:
> 
> 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
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