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

Lieven L. Litaer levinius at gmx.de
Sun Apr 12 03:26:03 PDT 2020

Without going too much into your asked question, I'd like to note that
you should not focus too much on the "intention" meaning of those suffixes.

I know you don't like the suggestion of "rephrasing", but we have the
words {chIch} "intentionally" and {bong} "accidentally" for some reason.

I imagine you have thought about a dialogue like this:

{vIHoHpu'} - I killed him.
{DaHoHta''a'?} - Did you intentionally kill him?
{ghobe'. vIHoHta'be'.} - No, I did not kill him on purpose.

Based on the given meanings of those suffixs, it somehow makes sense,
but I wouldn't say it that way. I think it does not fulfill the true
meaning of those suffixes.

Now, back to the other question of the word order ta'be/be'ta': It is
ambiguous in English as well:

"I did not hit you on purpose."
= "It hit you, but I did not intend to."
or: "I paid much attention not hitting you, so I did not hit you. And
that was on purpose. (i.e. I missed the goal on purpose)"

Okay, back to the original question:

I understand {qaqIpta'be'} as negating the action {qIp}. So both "I did
not hit you" and "I tried to hit you, but it didn't work".

Remember the canon example from TKD: {vIta'pu'be'} "I didn't do it"

And to avoid ambiguity, I'd say it the same way I did in English:
{qaqIpbe' chIch 'e' vIchav}
{qaqIpbe' 'e' vIHech}

I thought about adding {-ta'} here, because it's an accomplished mission
with purpose, but it then reminded me that {-ta'} is overly mis-used as
tense. {qaqIpbe'} does not need tense when context is clear, and {chIch}
adds the purpose.

Lieven L. Litaer
aka the "Klingon Teacher from Germany"

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