[tlhIngan Hol] “In a usual manner”

nIqolay Q niqolay0 at gmail.com
Fri May 17 17:56:47 PDT 2019

On Fri, May 17, 2019 at 8:27 PM Daniel Dadap <daniel at dadap.net> wrote:

> I recently encountered the sentence *{motlh vIyIt}, where the intended
> meaning was “I walk in a usual manner”. The intended meaning was clear
> based on context and an accompanying English translation, but otherwise I
> would have read {motlh jIyIt} (correcting for the unusual prefix) as “I
> usually walk”; i.e., referring to the frequency or habitualness of the
> walking rather than the quality or the manner.
> I recommended rephrasing as {yItwI' motlh jIH}, but I suppose any number
> of other constructions involving the verb {motlh} rather than the adverbial
> would have been appropriate, e.g. {jIyIttaHvIS jImotlh}, {motlh yItmeH
> Ho'DoSwIj}, etc., or using other words besides {motlh} (e.g. {jIyIttaHvIS
> jIle'be'}), but am I wrong about the adverbial {motlh} referring to only
> frequency rather than manner? Could {motlh <wot>} actually be understood to
> mean <wot> happens in a usual manner?
> It seems the adverbial {motlh} was defined in KGT with just a gloss
> <usually, typically, as expected>, with no further clarification, and it
> seems to me that this could be read either as something indicating the
> usualness of the frequency or the manner of the verb it modifies, so I’m
> not sure where I got the idea from that it refers to the frequency. What
> canon uses, if any, have we seen of {motlh} as an adverbial, or of how to
> express that something happens in a usual manner?

SkyBox card 3, was the only adverbial *motlh* I could find:

*'ejyo' luch rurbe'qu' tlhIngan Duj luch. Hos law'qu' luch law'qu' je lo'
> Duj nuH pat Hub pat je. motlh ray' luSamlaHmeH De' Qatlh cha' tlhIngan Duj
> jIH'a'. motlh pIm 'ejyo' Dujmey.*
> *Klingon starship design is vastly different from Starfleet technology. A
> huge amount of the ship's power and technology is devoted to its weapons
> grid and defensive systems. Unlike most Starfleet vessels, the main viewer
> on a Klingon ship is usually overlaid with a complex target acquisition
> grid.*

More literally, "Klingon ship main screens display complex information for
being able to usually find targets. Starfleet ships are usually different."
It's interesting that in the first example, *motlh* seems like it'd make
more sense with the main clause, but it's with the subordinate clause. Ah,
well, it wouldn't be the first error on the SkyBox cards, or even on that
particular card.


My interpretation based on the KGT glosses is that *motlh* incorporates
both meanings -- the idea that something happens habitually and the idea
that it happens in the expected manner -- and context will tell the
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