[tlhIngan Hol] Can I say maQeHchuqchoHmoH ?

Will Martin willmartin2 at mac.com
Thu Jan 31 14:24:43 PST 2019

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)”. 

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. 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.” In this case, it might be a statement of the captain of a ship who considers the ship to be his home. He’s in his home. He’s making progress along a course. I think in Okrand's example, he explained that if you are in a boat on a river, the river would be the direct object of {ghoS}, while the boat would be the noun with a locative suffix. In English, we could say, “I’m driving home in my car.” Home is the destination of the road (course) I’m driving on/{ghoS}, the direct object of {ghoS}, and I’m doing it in my car{-Daq}, the noun with a locative suffix.

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. The home doesn’t have to have anything to do with the course, because the course is the direct object, and {juHDaq} is not a direct object, so there must be some other direct object associated with the course, explicit or implicit.

So, if you {ghoSchoH}, you have to change the course. You had a course, and now, you don’t have that course any more. You have a new course. The following of a course has changed.

But on a ship, the course doesn’t change itself. You have to cause the course to change. {ghoSchoHmoH}.

In this case, it would not have been meaningful to {ghoSmoH}. The crewman is not asking permission to cause us to move along a course. We are already moving along a course. The crewman is asking if we can change our moving along a course. The change is the focus of the request for permission.

That’s special enough that I’m not sure it serves well to prove that we need {-choH} in {maQeHchuqmoH}, unless we are emphasizing that it is the change of state that we are causing, and that we are not particularly interested in whether or not we are causing the condition itself. It’s the difference between, in English, saying, “We make each other angry,” and “We are changing each others state of anger.” 

Arguably, you might be saying that we WERE angry, but we are now CAUSING each other to CHANGE that state, so that we are now calm and happy, and no longer angry. We’re buying each other beers and telling jokes and laughing so hard we pee in our armor, and then we laugh even more because, hey, this is COLD. Angry? Us? Are you kidding? We’re best buddies. BFF!

Klingons usually have a reason for using a suffix. It changes the meaning of the word it is applied to. If it just agrees with the meaning the word already seems to have had, then, it’s not really very Klingon to include it. It’s like putting a plural suffix on a noun with a number in front of it. You already know it’s plural. Why bother with a plural suffix? If we make each other angry, why bring up that we are changing our state of anger? The important part is that there’s anger, and there’s cause for anger.


Meh. Is that really important? Does it really clarify your meaning? Save {-choH} for a situation where it actually adds to the meaning of your statement.

charghwI’ ‘utlh

> On Jan 31, 2019, at 2:52 PM, SuStel <sustel at trimboli.name> wrote:
> On 1/31/2019 2:39 PM, Jeffrey Clark wrote:
>> When I originally read it, I came up with something closer to “we drive each other to anger” based on both -moH and -choH.
>> Re: object with -moH
>> In this case, isn’t “each other” the object? I think any -moH verb is going to have an object (explicit or not).
> That is not the case. Consider maghoSchoHmoHneS'a' may we execute a course (to some place)? in TKD. It explicitly has no object.
> The issue here is the difference between the syntactic role of words and the semantic role of entities. Clearly, something has its course changed. But that something has no syntactic role in the sentence and does not appear.
> So while it's true that wherever you see a -moH, something must actually be doing, or potentially be doing, the verb, there is absolutely no requirement that that something be given any kind of syntactic presence in the sentence. As far as the syntax of the sentence is concerned, there is no object. You can have -moH and have no object.
> So when you say maQeHchuqchoHmoH, there is no grammatical object to the sentence, just as there is no object to the sentence maleghchuq. You can figure out who is doing the verb and who is having the verb done to them, but that's not in the syntax. Each other gets angry. We cause this to be.
>> «maHoHchuq» is functionally the same as something like «qaHoH ej qaHoHtaHvIS choHoH je». It’s just more efficient.
> -- 
> SuStel
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