[tlhIngan Hol] Transitivity of qID

Will Martin willmartin2 at mac.com
Wed May 8 08:30:06 PDT 2019

> On May 8, 2019, at 10:51 AM, SuStel <sustel at trimboli.name> wrote:
> 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.
I have not had any familiarity with the grammatical term “senses”, but it sounds like you know of what you speak.

>> 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.
I agree that all arguments to a verb help achieve a deeper understanding of the verb. 

>> 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.
I’d like to clarify that I don’t think you are a hippy-dippy grammar defiler. I think of our past mostly as being necessary opposites, such that a balance between our extremes has helped the language evolve, yet remain sufficiently stable to be useful to the whole community. I’ve consistently (well, MOSTLY consistently) erred toward conservative, limited extension beyond what we are explicitly given, and you’ve sought often well-considered openness to possibilities beyond my small-minded restrictions.

In early days, there were so many self-declared usurpers pushing to make up new vocabulary without waiting for Okrand to give us words, or to make wild reinterpretations of the grammar that I felt compelled to draw my blade and fight the good fight to defend Okrand as the source of the language… and it just continued on and on with so many assaults, often poorly planned or justified, that I felt squeezed into a mold — to satisfy that call to balance.

When I stopped participating for an extended period, it’s only natural that you’d be drawn to fill in the void and step forward to guard stability of interpretation, holding us closer to canon.

So, now we agree more often than we used to because many of your arguments have convinced me against my former positions, and because you’ve begun to see the dangers of chaos in the absence of anyone speaking out for order.

It’s a theory, anyway.

So many of the early voices have vanished. We don’t hear from Qanqor anymore. We don’t hear from Seqram anymore. We rarely hear from ghunchu’wI’. I miss Doqtargh.

So, the new balance is struck and it evolves.

You still call me out for my knee-jerk, excessive attempts to limit what people can do with the language, and the recent times you’ve done that, I’ve agreed with you. I’m trying to catch up with changes in my absence and become more of a simple participant and less of a self-declared authority figure (despite occasional seizures apparently caused by some mysterious form of epilepsy that involves touch typing).

>> 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.
I think it’s important to note when there are or are not parentheses around the object in the gloss. {He’} doesn’t have parentheses, and I suggest it takes no direct object. Those with parentheses are simply examples of the sort of direct object that the verb can take. As such {qID}’s gloss is “joke, make a joke, tell a joke”. No parentheses. That suggests that the direct object in the gloss is implicit and not merely exemplary. It suggests that {qID} takes no object.

I’m not sure that Okrand is ALWAYS consistent about this, but I don’t think it’s accidental. It seems to be an element of his proprietary notation.

> And so on.
> -- 
> SuStel
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charghwI’ vaghnerya’ngan

rInpa’ bomnIS be’’a’ pI’.

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