[tlhIngan Hol] can the object of the {-meH} be the subject of what follows it ?

nIqolay Q niqolay0 at gmail.com
Wed Oct 16 12:20:26 PDT 2019

On Wed, Oct 16, 2019 at 9:24 AM SuStel <sustel at trimboli.name> wrote:

> Whose purpose it is will be subject to context. In this case, it's the
> Klingon's purpose because the Klingon is trying to get the Romulan's
> attention. The subject of the main clause will usually be the one acting
> toward the purpose, and I can't think of an example where that is not the
> case, but it's possible someone could construct a sentence that defies this
> expectation.
Something with a stative verb would work. *SaqlaHmeH 'orwI'pu' wovqu'
wovmoHwI'mey* "The lights are very bright so the pilots can land."

> (I'm ignoring sentences like *qIpmeH Qatlh'a',* whose grammar I find to
> be fairly impenetrable.)
They're not that impenetrable. It seems that Okrand is using the idea of
"for the purpose of accomplishing something" in a somewhat different way
than the examples in TKD. Those examples use *XmeH Y Z* to mean "Z does Y,
and does so for the purpose/intent of accomplishing X". In later examples
like *qIpmeH Qatlh'a'*, it seems to be also used with stative verbs to mean
something like "Z has quality Y for/regarding the purposes of accomplishing

So *qIpmeH Qatlh* would be "For the purposes of [one] hitting it, it is
difficult" or "As far as hitting it is concerned, it is difficult" or just
"It is difficult to hit." Something similar is used with* Heghlu'meH QaQ
jajvam* and *tlhutlhmeH HIq ngeb qaq law' bIQ qaq puS*. They're describing
something's usefulness/suitability/quality/etc. towards achieving a
purpose, not describing a thing happening to bring about a purpose.

I assume context helps listeners determine whether something like *vIqIpmeH
Qatlh* is intended to mean "For the purposes of me hitting him, he's
difficult"/"He's difficult for me to hit" or to mean "He's difficult, for
the purpose of me hitting him"/"He's difficult so that I'll hit him."
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