[tlhIngan Hol] pluralizing epithets

Will Martin willmartin2 at mac.com
Fri Sep 27 09:42:58 PDT 2019

And just to add one more element to the discussion, isn’t {paq’batlh} poetry? 

We’ve been specifically told that in poetry, the plural suffixes are not bound by normal rules of grammar. Admittedly, that was in reference to the rare, poetic use of {-mey} on body parts, but in TKD, for either beings capable of language or body parts, using {-mey} always refers to the “scattered all about” meaning, either in poetry or normal speech. There’s no reference to it being intentionally used as an insult in TKD or the Addendum.

… not that it wouldn’t be insulting… There’s just no mention of it in TKD. We can rationally deduce that it would be insulting to be referred to as a thing incapable of language, but we don’t know that Klingons actually think that way. So far as we can tell, they’d just assume that if you refer to {nuvmey} when you don’t mean “scattered all about”, then maybe you are just an idiot who doesn’t know how to speak Klingon.

charghwI’ vaghnerya’ngan

rInpa’ bomnIS be’’a’ pI’.

> On Sep 27, 2019, at 11:45 AM, Steven Boozer <sboozer at uchicago.edu> wrote:
> I had the same thought as Luciano: {petaQ} may have originally been some sort of disgusting creature or thing, which is why it’s pluralized with {-mey} in the same way that {DeSqIvDu’} “elbows” is also used for V-shaped pot handles (KGT p.97).  But as SuStel says, we have no way of knowing.
> For comparison, more than one animal - even when used to refer to people - is {Ha’DIbaHmey} in the paq’batlh:
> ghoStaHvIS tam 'ej So' 
>    molor QaS HoS 
>    ram Ha'DIbaHmey rur 
> They sneak and they creep,
>    The men of mighty Molor,
>    Like beasts in the dark.  (PB)
> DaqtaghlIj yIlel qeylIS 
>    ngemvamDaq Ha'DIbaHmey tIHoH 
>    wa' targh cha' tlhInganpu'qoq je 
> Kahless, pull your d'k tahg, 
>    Kill the beasts in this forest, 
>    One a targ, and two who call themselves Klingon. (PB)
> Note that {Ha’DIbaHmey} refers to two {tlhInganpu’qoq} “so-called Klingons” in the second example. 
> --
> Voragh
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> From: SuStel
> On 9/27/2019 11:03 AM, Luciano Montanaro wrote:
> As far as I know, petaQ is an insult, but the specific meaning has
> been withheld, probably to make it safe to use in a program for
> children.
> As such, we cannot desume that using -mey is an additional insult; as
> far as we know, a petaQ may be a disgusting animal, or thing, so -mey
> would be the grammatical correct way to pluralize it.
> Am I missing something here?
> I agree. We just don't have any data on which to speculate. All we know is that in paq'batlh Molor calls a group of assembled Klingons petaQmey.
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