[tlhIngan Hol] does the {-ta'} leave room for interpretation for the {-pu'} ?

Will Martin willmartin2 at mac.com
Tue Apr 7 07:00:05 PDT 2020


I’m thinking maybe you are narrowing the interpretation of “accomplishment” a bit.

If I say, {qaqIpta’be’}, while it’s possible I mean, “Sure, I hit you, but I didn’t intend to,” I could also mean, “You call that a hit? It’s nothing like the one I still intend to give you. Here. Hold this.” POW! My mission wasn’t accomplished with that first tap. This SECOND hit is the one that fulfilled my goal.

It could be an insult, implying that hitting you is no accomplishment. Any crippled child could fearlessly hit YOU. You are a living punching bag. Nobody cuts a notch on their belt for hitting YOU. Anyone capable of standing near you and NOT hitting you is boring. Even the ghIlab ghewmey dive bomb you for sport.

It could be an expression of pride. The way I hit, if I’d actually planned and executed a punch, you wouldn’t be talking right now. You’d be drooling, face down on the pavement with investigators drawing a white chalk line around you, taking photographs and putting up "Police Line: Do not cross” tape...

Or it could be that I really did intend to hit you, but I missed. You were grazed, and yet you still whine about it. I’m a little ashamed of my inept attempt at punching your lights out.

I could go on.

The point is that all communication is incomplete. Context generally provides important detail missing from a simple sentence.

No sentence means exactly one thing in all contexts.

Often the grammatical choice between {-pu’} and {-ta’} gets its meaning from the context.

Given the right context, what you say could be completely true. Just don’t assume that the statement has one universal truth it expresses by choosing between {-pu’} and {-ta’}.

> On Apr 7, 2020, at 9:32 AM, mayqel qunen'oS <mihkoun at gmail.com> wrote:
> 
> Suppose someone asks: {qatlh choqIppu'?}/{qatlh choqIppta'?}.
> 
> Somehow, I get the impression that by answering {qaqIpta'be'}, this
> answer could be interpreted as "I hit you, but it wasn't on purpose."
> 
> Somehow, I get the impression that by combining {-ta'} with {-be'},
> the listener could *still* understand that the action took place, but
> that it wasn't intentional.
> 
> So, is this the case indeed? Does the {-ta'} leave room for
> interpretation for the {-pu'}?
> 
> ~ mayqel qunen'oS
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