[tlhIngan Hol] Transitivity of qID

SuStel sustel at trimboli.name
Wed May 8 07:51:34 PDT 2019

On 5/8/2019 10:21 AM, Will Martin wrote:
> Okrand has consistently avoided using the words “transitive” or 
> “intransitive”. He didn’t mark this sort of thing in TKD.

It's usually not so simple. English verbs, for instance, usually have 
both transitive and intransitive senses. What we don't get in /The 
Klingon Dictionary/ are senses.

> It’s long been a frustration for me because I honestly believe that 
> you can’t understand a verb well until you know its relationship with 
> acceptable direct objects. The relationship between the verb and its 
> direct object is part of the meaning of the verb, and most of the 
> time, this is part of the definition of verbs that we don’t get from 
> Okrand. We just have to watch for it in canon, and even then, it’s not 
> always consistent.

More than that: we have to try to understand all the arguments of a 
verb. Sometimes it's not clear what the /subject/ of a verb should be, 
let alone any objects.

> SuStel has long made this point from a different angle, and I’ve agued 
> in favor of some kind of clarified, systematic approach, while he’s 
> tended to defend a looser acceptance of a wider range of possibilities 
> in terms of objects of verbs. Over time, I’ve worn down and just 
> accept that we just do the best we can.

I find it amusing that most people think I'm the uber-strict, 
slippery-slope-ignoring grammar police, while you think I'm a 
hippy-dippy grammar defiler.

> Maybe {qID} can use {‘e’} as its direct object. If you don’t like 
> that, then you can treat it like one of the verbs that almost makes it 
> to the list of speech words, but doesn’t quite. {qID Qanqor. jatlh 
> <peng baHmeH qarDaSngan ‘ar poQlu’?>}

I hadn't considered *'e'* or *net *as the object of *qID,* but once 
De'vID suggested it, it made sense.

Another verb that I think really only works with an *'e'* or *net* 
object is *Hech*/intend, mean to./

> I’m guessing that when Okrand includes an explicit noun in the gloss, 
> it probably is similar to English verbs that have an implied direct 
> object that can be stated explicitly, but doesn’t really need to. A 
> moon orbits. What does it orbit. Well, it orbits a planet. That’s what 
> makes it a moon. A moon doesn’t orbit a star. It would be a planet, if 
> it did that.

Whenever Okrand is writing for a word-list, as opposed to 
conversationally explaining a word, he includes an explicit noun on a 
verb where the English translation has more than once sense, and he's 
disambiguating which sense he means.

*baH*/fire (torpedo, rocket, missile)/ — as opposed to fire someone from 
their job or fire a kiln.
*bIv* /break (rules)/ — as opposed to breaking a piece of glass.
*cha'*/show, display (picture)/ — as opposed to showing or displaying a 
statue in a gallery.
*chIp*/cut, trim (hair)/ — as opposed to cutting other things like meat 
or wood.
*chu'* /engage, activate (a device)/ — not sure about this one, maybe 
it's to distinguish /engage/ from something like engaging in 
conversation. Activate has other senses, but they're too esoteric to 
have needed disambiguation.
*Dan*/occupy (military term)/ — as opposed to being inside something. No 
one would misunderstand "military term" as being the object of *Dan.
ghoS* one of the translations is /follow (a course)/ — as opposed to 
following someone into the Great Barrier.
*He'*/smell, emit odor/ — as opposed to emitting sounds or exhaust. This 
one doesn't even bother with parentheses, because the main sense of the 
word comes from /odor,/ not /emit./

And so on.


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