[tlhIngan Hol] Can I say maQeHchuqchoHmoH ?

SuStel sustel at trimboli.name
Thu Jan 31 15:40:41 PST 2019

On 1/31/2019 5:24 PM, Will Martin wrote:
> You found a great canon example, and I do not doubt, especially given 
> the new understanding of how {-moH} works, that you are generally 
> right. I’m sure there are plenty of situations where we can use {-moH} 
> on a verb with no direct object. {SuvwI’ jIH. jISuvmoH.} "I am a 
> soldier. I cause fighting." I don’t have to be specific about who I 
> cause to fight.
> Your specific canon example is somewhat of a special case, since the 
> very definition of {ghoS} implies a direct object. It means, 
> “approach, go away from, proceed, come, follow (a course)”.

It's not really a special case. *ghoS* doesn't imply a direct object any 
more than *Suv* implies a direct object, and you did not hesitate to 
write *jISuvmoH.*

When you do not include an object on a verb that could take one, it's 
understood that the verb is acting on a vague, general object. That 
object is NOT syntactically part of the sentence. *jISuv*/I fight./ Whom 
or what I fight is left vague or general, but obviously I'm fighting 
someone or something.

This is no different with *ghoS.* The given translation is made very 
explicit because /go/ is insufficient for an English speaker to 
understand the connection between *ghoS* and its object, but once you 
understand that connection, it's grammatically no different to *ghoS* 
something than it is to *Suv* something. *ghoS* is a perfectly normal 
word. It's just not equivalent to just one English word, so explaining 
it takes some time. But once you know what it is, it's simple and 

Please understand the difference between the existence of an object and 
the existence of an entity that would be an object if the entity were 
mentioned. /Object/ is a syntactic role of a word in a sentence. If a 
word does not appear in a sentence, it has no syntactic role in that 
sentence. If *jIghoS,* then the course I follow may exist, but it is not 
the object of the sentence.

> In the HolQeD interview, Okrand elaborated on the special nature of 
> the verb {ghoS}. It doesn’t just mean to move around or to change 
> one’s location. It implies a course. It ALWAYS implies a course. You 
> can state the course as a direct object, if the course has a name, or 
> you can use as a direct object any location associated with the 
> course. It could be the starting point, or the target, or just some 
> location along the way. Most commonly, it’s the destination. Or you 
> can omit mention of the course, but, the course is always there. The 
> verb {ghoS} is meaningless without a course.

You are outrageously overstating what Okrand said in the interview. He 
gave no such absolutes. *ghoS* is the act of following a course, so 
naturally the idea of a course is inherent in the action, /but there is 
no syntactic requirement for a course to be listed./ Just as *Suv* 
implies some kind of fight occurring, even if you don't syntactically 
have to mention any fight. The word itself contains the meaning you're 
discussing. No, *ghoS* doesn't always have an implied object of a 
course; the course is inherent in the verb itself. *ghoS* means /follow 
a course/ all by itself.

> Otherwise, you should use {leng} or maybe {vIH}. It’s special in the 
> same way that {vegh} is special. {leng} and {vIH} might or might not 
> have a course, but {ghoS} and {vegh} imply moving along a specific path.
> That’s why you can say {juH vIghoS} and {juHDaq jIghoS}. They are both 
> grammatically correct, and it would seem that they mean the same 
> thing, but in the interview, he clarified that the first one means, 
> "I’m moving along the course associated with home,” while the second 
> one actually means, “I’m in/at my home, and I’m moving along a course 
> with no explicit identification of what that course might be.”

Note that he declared that the locative-inherentness of these verbs 
makes a distinction between *juH vIghoS* and *juHDaq jIghoS,* but it's 
not actually deducible just from the grammar given in TKD. Prior to 
Okrand's declaration, we were perfectly able to analyze *juH vIghoS* and 
*juHDaq jIghoS* as meaning exactly the same thing. It took an Okrandian 
decree to change this.

> I think he even said that if you said, {juHDaq vIghoS}, the meaning is 
> that you are in/at home, and you are moving along a course.

*juHDaq vIghoS* can mean /I follow it (a course) at home, /or it can 
mean /I go home./ For the latter, the *-Daq* on *juH* would be 
considered redundant and unnecessary, but not out-and-out wrong. There 
is no actual prohibition on putting type 5 suffixes on objects — the 
example in TKD 3.5.5 actually does this — and this is a case where you 
can do so, even if doing so makes Klingons look at you funny.

> Klingons usually have a reason for using a suffix.

You're about to indulge in what I think of as an "a Klingon would never" 
argument. I don't usually find them productive for understanding the 
grammar. They're useful for asking how a Klingon would respond to 
something, but not in understanding the rules.


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