[tlhIngan Hol] prefix trick with {-'egh} and {-chuq}

Will Martin willmartin2 at mac.com
Tue Jul 7 08:23:21 PDT 2020

So, the prefix trick only works for an indirect object, being a first or second person being capable of using language (since things not capable of speech can’t be speaking in the first person and it has not been culturally confirmed that Klingons speak to things incapable of using language). The prefix syntactically suggests that this indirect object were the direct object, though grammatically (semantically?), it is treated as the indirect object, so that a “di-transitive” verb (like {nob}) can free up the syntactic slot for direct object, since Klingon lacks syntax for two direct objects.

I’m sure that this will spur on a clarification about the Klingon idea of “object” without reference to it being “direct” or “indirect”, but the point is, a Klingon sentence has one position for a direct object, and a Type 5 suffix for indirect object. You can’t have two direct object nouns in a Klingon sentence. There is no place to put the second one.

So, {taj qanob.} = {SoHvaD taj vInob.}

{-egh} and {-chuq} is a different grammatical area where literal syntax suggests something other than the semantics. The syntax says there’s no direct object, but {-chuq} or {-‘egh} inform us that the subject is also the object. It doesn’t say that the subject is also the indirect object.

Perhaps, the “object” can represent either a null-pronoun or invisible noun direct object, or even an invisible {-vaD}-appended pronoun?

The main point of interest here is that the verb prefix normally tells us the person and number of the subject and object, except when the prefix trick informs us of the first or second person indirect object, instead, or when {-chuq} or {-‘egh} duplicates the subject into the object (probably direct object, but perhaps also indirect object?) position without reflecting that in the prefix.

In other words, if you take the two most confusing things one can do with a prefix and try to mix them in ways for which we have no canon to take as examples, you are not walking on thin ice.

You are walking on water.

And Klingons don’t like getting wet.

charghwI’ vaghnerya’ngan

rInpa’ bomnIS be’’a’ pI’.

> On Jul 7, 2020, at 9:02 AM, SuStel <sustel at trimboli.name> wrote:
> On 7/7/2020 8:55 AM, mayqel qunen'oS wrote:
>> jIH:
>>> Couldn't we use the prefix trick with {-'egh} and {-chuq} ?
>> SuStel:
>>> Aside from breaking the rule about using only no-object prefixes with the reflexive suffixes
>> I'm sorry for the silly-stupid-ridiculous question that I'm about to
>> ask.. But I can't understand how the rule about using only no-object
>> prefixes with reflexive suffixes is broken.
>> Suppose we write:
>> taj jInob'eghpu'
>> I gave myself a knife
>> or
>> taj manobchuqpu'
>> we gave each other a knife
>> How do the above examples break the rule in question ? Both the {jI-}
>> and the {ma-} are no-object prefixes. Obviously there's something very
>> basic which I don't understand, and this worries me.
> Oh, no, those simply don't follow the prefix trick rule, which is this: "When the indirect object ... is first or second person, the pronominal prefix which normally indicates first or second person object may be used."
> Whether or not you think the subject of a reflexive verb can be its indirect object, you haven't used prefixes which normally indicate first- or second-person object.
> -- 
> SuStel
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