[tlhIngan Hol] Does Da necessarily require an object ?

Jeffrey Clark jmclark85 at gmail.com
Wed Mar 6 07:31:56 PST 2019

I would argue that from a logical/semantic standpoint, “understand” has no real intransitive meaning. The intransitive use is simply a shorthand for an implied transitive meaning. While “I understand” might an intransitive use syntactically, the actual idea being communicated by the statement is “I understand this thing/concept/abstraction/whatever”, which is a transitive concept.

I think there are many verbs that operate solely transitively on a semantic level, even if we make them intransitive on a syntactic level — the syntactic intransitiveness still implies a semantic object, even if that object isn’t stated.

It seems to me that there is no reason for Klingon to follow the syntactic shorthand that English does of “intranstivising” transitive verbs as a shorthand. {jIyaj} doesn’t save any time to say over {vIyaj}, and {vIyaj} is more semantically accurate — since there is an “it” that is being understood.


Sent from my iPhone

> On Mar 6, 2019, at 10:16, SuStel <sustel at trimboli.name> wrote:
>> On 3/6/2019 10:04 AM, Jeffrey Clark wrote:
>> I would think that there would be linguistic pressure against things like {jIqIm} and even {jIyaj}.
>> In English, for example, we drop the object since context implies it (our own form of clipping). But in Klingon I don’t see the point of changing the prefix just because the object is understood. You are understanding something, you are paying attention to something, you are behaving like something… just because the object is not explicitly given doesn’t mean that the transitive quality of the verb goes away, there is a still “something” that the verb is pointing to, even if it is understood.
> This set of prefixes is also used when an object is possible, but unknown or vague. Thus, jIyaj I understand can be used when the speaker understands things in general, knows what is going on, or understands what another speaker has just said. It cannot, however, be used for understanding a language or understanding a person. Similarly, maSop we eat can be used to indicate a general act of eating, but not if a specific food is mentioned. [TKD]
> jIqIm can be used in situations where you want to convey that your attention is given, without specifying exactly what you're paying attention to. yIqIm can be used to order somebody to pay attention to whatever is about to happen, without having to say the vague whatever is about to happen every time.
> jIDa simply means you are behaving as something, without mentioning what you are behaving as.
>> It seems more likely to me that there would be a (unspoken, perhaps) rule about using no-object prefixes with many transitive verbs that can’t have intransitive meanings.
> You'd first have to convince me that there are verbs that cannot have intransitive meanings.
> -- 
> SuStel
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