[tlhIngan Hol] Imperatives and type nine suffixes

Ed Bailey bellerophon.modeler at gmail.com
Mon Jun 10 09:14:04 PDT 2019


On Mon, Jun 10, 2019 at 9:12 AM SuStel <sustel at trimboli.name> wrote:

> On 6/10/2019 12:49 AM, Ed Bailey wrote:
>
> On Sun, Jun 9, 2019 at 6:36 PM Daniel Dadap <daniel at dadap.net> wrote:
>
>> I don’t remember ever seeing a rule against using type nine verb suffixes
>> with an imperative prefix. At the same time, I also cannot think of any
>> sane reason one would want to do this, nor can I coax any example I can
>> think of where a verb has both an imperative prefix and a type nine suffix
>> into making any kind of sense.
>>
>> I’m pretty sure that type nine suffixes and imperative prefixes can’t
>> coexist, but maybe I’m just not being imaginative enough. Can anybody think
>> of an example where a type nine suffix somehow marks an imperative verb and
>> actually means something useful?
>>
>
> Possibly it seems like there's no sane reason because literal translation
> won't work. Likewise, Klingons might think it's insane to have a sentence
> like, "Identify the ship in which he fled!" Languages have plenty of
> expressions that don't make literal sense, like "What does God need with a
> starship?"
>
> While there's no reason to believe Type 9 suffixes are ever used on verbs
> with imperative prefixes, who wants to walk into a bar full of Klingons and
> tell them they're not allowed to? So let's suppose Klingons actually do
> this and we cobble together an example and try to figure out what meaning
> it's supposed to convey. For instance, **yIruchchugh bIQap!* Weird, but
> I'd guess it's something like a condensed version of *yIruch! bIruchchugh
> bIQap* or *yIruch bIruchchugh bIQapmo'!* Perhaps it's more exhortative
> than imperative.
>
> You're basically suggesting that we speculatively invent new grammar. I
> don't see this as particularly constructive, since at the end of the day
> you have to admit that you made it all up anyway, and in the meantime
> there's a very real chance that someone will read the speculation and not
> realize you're just speculating.
>
> I don't think you can use type 9 suffixes on imperative verbs.
>
SuStel, I expected.you to object, even though wording like "no reason to
believe" and "let's suppose" make it obvious that it's just speculation.
But if I danced to your tune, I'd never get to speculate at all because I'd
be spending all my time on the impossible task of composing a disclaimer
sufficient for a reader as infinitely careless and obtuse as the one you
envision.

As for whether we can use Type 9 suffixes on imperative verbs, I'd go
beyond what you say, that you don't think so. I'd say flat out that we
can't do it. But I'm not going to tell Klingons they can't. Since Daniel
raised the possibility, it's fun (for me, at least, if not for you) to
imagine a Klingon using this weird grammar and to try to figure out what
the intended meaning is. If ever there were canon examples of this weird
grammar, hopefully Maltz would explain, as he has in the past.

~mIp'av
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