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

Will Martin willmartin2 at mac.com
Tue Jan 14 12:03:43 PST 2020

Anyone disturbed by my posts can skip this one, though I doubt the content is all that disturbing, given a world that includes drone strike assassinations and missiles taking down airliners full of people who have nothing to do with the conflict that launched the missile.

And Climate Change.

And the failure of nuclear disarmament.

I mean, I’m a really small annoyance, compared to all that.

charghwI’ vaghnerya’ngan

rInpa’ bomnIS be’’a’ pI’.

> On Jan 14, 2020, at 12:09 PM, SuStel <sustel at trimboli.name> wrote:
> 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.
I said, “… but all-ness works just fine.” You and I are both apparently using words different than Okrand used when translating X Hoch.
> … 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.
I said, "SuStel answered mayqel’s question. I’m adding an option for others on the list who might be more interested in how to uncontroversially express something like this, without the focus on this particular mechanic of grammar.” In other words, I wasn’t addressing mayqel’s question. I was just addressing further ideas about dealing with a noun with Hoch following it, and an adjective applying to that same noun.

I wasn’t challenging your ideas. I was adding another one. You seem very offended by the suggestion that you shouldn’t be the first, last, and only person with ideas about grammar. I did not intend to offend you. I tried to be explicit about that.

>> 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.
> paq'batlh: 
> 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.
Thanks. This is just the kind of canon I was asking for. I appreciate your research. I benefit from it. Unless I got the word “whole” from some other canon example we’ve both missed, I obviously imagined it, or, like your “all-ness”, invented it.
> 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.
I respect how challenging this is to nail down a detailed description. “Pie-allness” sounds like a term from ontological philosophy, though we appear to be speaking about one normal pie. That’s one problem with a language lacking articles, with optional plural suffixes.

Maybe “entirety” would be an improvement to either of our chosen terms up to this point. It is unambiguously a noun, and it’s not stretched English vocabulary. Few would misunderstand it.

We can talk about the entirety of the big pie (the big pie’s entirety) and we can talk about the big entirety of the pie (the pie’s big entirety), or given the lack of need for plural suffixes in Klingon, the pies’ big entirety. The latter could be useful if we walked into a room and found tables covered by tons of pies, if we really want to talk about the impressively large mass of pie, as opposed to the size of any particular pie, or the number of pies, this would be a useful expression.

This is what I love about Klingon. I can start off thinking about one thing, and then because of tweaks of a Klingon phrase, an idea leaps into a wholly unforeseen direction. I’m now thinking about a warehouse full of pies. I love pies. This feels great to imagine so many pies and consider not the number, but the overall mass of pie filling and crust. I could easily have gone all day without this image; maybe an entire lifetime. It would have been a missed opportunity.

I’m delightedly sitting in an imaginary vast room full of pies.

Thank you, Universe, for giving me this moment.

Over here, we have the pumpkin section. Over THERE, we have the coconut creme wing. And beyond that is Key Lime County… Behind me, we have a peach continent, with a glacier of French vanilla ice cream.

… but I digress.

>> 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.
I completely agree with you. This is both true and unnecessary, as I confessed in the original post. We don’t disagree on this.

>> 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.
Good point. I’m just guessing at his intent, similar to the way you are guessing at how {Hoch} might fit between {qab} and {tIn}. We’re both doing our best to figure out how things work, given limited access to The Truth behind what Okrand has given us.

>> 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.
Consider “entirety”.

>> 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?
Since Klingon doesn’t differentiate between restrictive relative clauses that identify a noun vs. non-restrictive (parenthetical) relative clauses, which merely comment on a noun, we can’t know if {‘eybogh chab tIn} has emphasis on {‘eybogh} or {tIn} or neither. It would be nice if we could, but we can’t.

>> 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.
You are completely correct.

>> 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.
You are right. It is no more than a reasonable guess; something we do here all the time.

>> 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.
It certainly is a noun, though aside from its normal, stand-alone-noun usage, it becomes special when used as a number, before another noun. Okrand has the suffix {-DIch}, which is applied only to numbers… and {Hoch}. I’m trying to think of how a number following a noun relates to {Hoch} following a noun, and I can’t quite stretch my mind around what that would mean.

{loS chab} is four pies. {chab loSDIch} is the fourth pie. {chab loS} is pie #4. {Hoch chab} is all pies. {chab HochDIch} is the last pie. {chab Hoch}… is different from {chab loS}. So something is going on here that is sometimes like a number, and sometimes not like a number. 

Numbers are nouns when they stand alone, though they are special, as is {Hoch} when you apply them to another noun. I agree that its a normal noun when it stands alone, but it becomes like a number when it precedes another noun, and it does something else entirely when it follows one. I’m not that sure that it is a simple noun that follows simple noun-noun rules when it follows another noun. Maybe it does, but it’s weird how much it acts like a number when before another noun, and doesn’t act like one when it follows another noun.

My step-sister made me a coconut creme pie for my 16th birthday. chab Hoch vISop. One sitting. She was stunned.

Ah, for adolescent metabolism… I miss it. If I did that now, I’d be sick, and I’d gain five pounds.

>> 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.

His original post gave both versions I was commenting on, and then qualified as to which he was addressing. I said I wasn’t restricting myself to answering his question, and you just snipped the version that did address his original question, in your quest to find flaws with anything I say, and make me appear to be more wrong than I am.

I’m quite capable of being wrong without your help exaggerating my errors. It really is amusing the lengths to which you go to amplify them. It’s not like you have so little evidence that you need to invent more.
> -- 
> SuStel
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