[tlhIngan Hol] using {Hoch} after a noun with an adjective

SuStel sustel at trimboli.name
Tue Jan 14 09:09:24 PST 2020

On 1/14/2020 11:17 AM, Will Martin wrote:
> I think SuStel’s analysis is perfectly rational and probably correct, 
> though we probably don’t have specific canon to be 100% sure that 
> {Hoch} works like this when combined with a noun with a verb used 
> adjectivally. I’d probably replace “all-ness” with “whole” for clarity 
> in the English explanation, since it’s a more commonly used English 
> word that means the same thing, but “all-ness” works just fine.

I used the word /all-ness/ specifically to avoid problems with the 
interpretation of the word /all//, /which is both noun and adjective in 
English. (The word /whole/ has the same problem.) Of course /all-ness/ 
isn't what you'd actually say in English; that's not the point. It 
illustrates the meaning of the Klingon better, that's all. Once 
explained, you can go back to a normal translation. mayqel wasn't 
looking for a clearer English translation; he was asking for the 
difference between two Klingon phrases, and the difference between their 
translations /the whole big pie/ and /the big whole pie/ doesn't 
illustrate which is correct.

> The TKD gloss doesn’t contain either “whole” or “all-ness” and boQwI’ 
> offers no canon examples of {Hoch} following another noun. I think I 
> remember that Okrand’s explanation of how {Hoch} works when following 
> a noun used the word “whole”, but my memory is imperfect, net Sov.


    *chalqachlIj rachlu'ta'bogh tutDaq
         mol'egh betleH
         muptaHvIS tay''eghmoH QeHDaj Hoch*

    /The bat'leth sunk into the post
         Of your fortified tower,
         All his rage focused in one blow/

The relevant phrase is *QeHDaj Hoch*/all his rage./

Okrand explained what *Hoch* means preceding a noun, but not what it 
means following a noun. We also have *HochHom *following a noun to mean 
/most of the noun./ We also understand what a noun-noun construction 
means: the second noun is the thing you're talking about, and the first 
noun is narrowing its sense to the set of things described by itself. 
*chab Hoch* is /all/ as a noun, or /all-ness,/ and the *chab* means that 
the all-ness is that subset of _all-ness___that has to do with pies. It 
is /pie-allness./ It is all of the pie. It's not the pie itself; it's 
the all-ness of the pie, the wholeness of the pie.

> If you want to be 100% safe against Okrand later surprising us by 
> invalidating this very reasonable interpretation of what {Hoch} does 
> when combined with an adjective, you can dodge the entire issue by 
> using the adjective as a verb with {-bogh}, as in {tInbogh chab Hoch}.

This is true, but probably not necessary. If you accept *Hoch* being 
modified by the noun phrase *tInbogh chab,* I see no reason why you 
wouldn't accept *Hoch* being modified by the noun phrase *chab tIn.* 
Throughout all of Klingon, noun phrases participate in the grammar 
exactly as single nouns do. Both are simply following known rules.

> Okrand has used this mechanism for expressing adjectives in the past 
> to avoid overloading grammatical constructions he prefers to keep 
> simple, like using multiple adjectives on the same noun,

We don't know that he did that to keep things simple. He may have done 
it because he decided that's the way it is done: one verb modifier per 
noun (or noun phrase). We don't /know/ this is a rule, because you can't 
show usage evidence for a negative rule, and Okrand hasn't declared any 
such rule. We've just never seen this happen. But the fact that we get 
things like *SuDbogh Dargh 'ej wovbogh* instead of *Dargh SuD wov* or 
*Dargh SuD 'ej wov* suggests that multiple verbs might not be allowed to 
modify a noun. It just suggests it. It certainly doesn't give us 
Okrand's thinking, so we can't extend Okrand's thinking that he didn't 
tell us to other areas.

> and to some extent, {Hoch} following a noun is very nearly behaving 
> like an adjective. It’s behaving like an adjective as much as any noun 
> can do. It’s a whole pie, not a half pie, and the word order tells us 
> it’s not “all pies”.

I said to think of *Hoch* as /all-ness/ because /all/ can be a noun or 
an adjective in English (and so can /whole/), and using /all/ keeps the 
correct word order obscure. I used /all-ness/ purely to force the word 
into noun form, so that the correct meaning of each word order was 
unambiguous for illustration purposes.

In other words, the English translation confuses the meaning of what is 
a fairly straightforward Klingon noun-noun construction.

> We’re pretty sure you can’t say *chab tIn ‘ey*, but you can say 
> {tInbogh chab ‘ey} or {‘eybogh chab tIn} or use two or more adjectives 
> with {-bogh}, though I don’t trust myself to get that right without 
> studying the canon first. [Something like {Xbogh, Ybogh je SuvwI’} 
> faintly echoes in my mind.]

That last construction only occurs in one song, and doesn't follow known 
rules. Instead, we can say *tInbogh chab 'ej 'eybogh* or *tInbogh 'ej 
'eybogh chab.* I'm not sure if the form of *tInbogh chab 'ey* or 
*'eybogh chab tIn* has ever been used in canon, though it's perfectly 
grammatical. However, it has issues of its own: is a *tInbogh chab 
'ey*//a *tInbogh chab* that is *'ey* or a *chab 'ey* which is *tIn?* Is 
it *[tInbogh chab] 'ey* or *tInbogh [chab 'ey]?* This might matter, as 
it tends to show which quality is more tightly associated with the noun. 
What if you want the qualities to be equally important to the noun?

> The point here is that Okrand has avoided using two adjectives on one 
> noun, preferring to keep the grammar simpler for forming that 
> noun-adjective phrase, allowing only one adjective.

Again, you don't know his preferences or his reasons for not having 
adjectivally modified one noun with two verbs. You can't extrapolate new 
rules using this supposed preference.

> Maybe this idea, which was not revealed to us until many years after 
> TKD, also applies to {Hoch} following a noun, and Okrand hasn’t 
> revealed this yet.

When was this idea revealed to us? So far as I know, this is just a 
property of verbs of quality that we have deduced by their lack of 
evidence and by the grammatical difficulties they would present if allowed.

> This is probably not the case, but it could be. We don’t know for 
> sure, unless one of the canon masters can fill in important missing 
> examples.

Until we're told that *Hoch* acts like an adjectival verb, it would be 
perfectly reasonable to use it as the noun it is, just the way Okrand 
has done.

> As a matter of personal style, depending on which meaning you 
> intended, I’d either use {Hoch chab tIn} [snip]

This means /each big pie,/ which is clearly not what he wanted.


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