[tlhIngan Hol] epithets used as adjectives

nIqolay Q niqolay0 at gmail.com
Mon Jul 20 10:25:48 PDT 2020

On Mon, Jul 20, 2020 at 8:16 AM mayqel qunen'oS <mihkoun at gmail.com> wrote:

> Recently, it occurred to me that we usually use (or that at least I
> use..) the epithets on their own. For example {petaQ ghaH}, {petaQvam
> yIbuSHa'}, {ghe''or jaHjaj yIntaghvam}, etc.
> But could we use an epithet as the first noun in a noun-noun
> construction, in the same way that we use the {baS} in {baS 'In} ?
> Could we say for example {petaQ 'orwI'vam} for "this petaQ pilot" ? Or
> is it that saying {petaQ 'orwI'vam} would actually mean "this petaQ
> person pilot", in the case where the {petaQ} word "includes" the
> concept of the "person" ?

The epithets were originally listed as *chuvmey* and not as nouns. However,
here are a handful of stanzas from the paq'batlh where *petaQ* is clearly
used as a noun -- taking noun suffixes, and being used in a sentence as a
subject or object, like a noun.

> *jach veqlargh jatlh*
> *     muqaD vay' 'ej ghe'tor 'el porgh*
> *     nuqDaq ghaH petaQ'e'*
> *He screamed: “Where is the p'takh*
> *      Who dares to enter Gre'thor*
> *      Within a body?!*
(PB, p. 106-107)

*petaQvam vIqopbej*
> *      QIt ghaHvaD yIn Hegh je vIghojmoH*
> *      'ej 'oy' SIQ ghaH*
> *I will bring this p'takh to justice*
> *      And teach him life and death,*
> *      The slow and painful way!*
(PB, p. 108-109)

*nItlhejbogh petaQmey*
> *      tInuD chaHvaD*
> *      nIb yan wIjwI' jan je*
> *Look at these p'takhs at your side,*
> *      They don’t know how to distinguish*
> *      A sword from a plough!*
(PB, p. 142-143)

*petaQ'a' SoH*
> *      bIlay'DI' qaHarbe'*
> *      quv HIja'chuqQo*'
> *You dirty p'takh,*
> *      Your word means nothing to me,*
> *      Don’t speak to me of honor!*
(PB, q. 156-157) (Also, an interesting example for the "prefix trick with
type-1 verb suffix" canon.)

In a noun-noun construction, I imagine it would work just like any other
noun. A *petaQ* *'orwI'vam* would be, in the most nonspecific sense, this
pilot who has something to do with p'tahks. Perhaps the pilot is themselves
a p'takh, or maybe their passengers are exclusively p'tahks, or perhaps the
aircraft they pilot is a p'tahk somehow. If you are currently angry at the
pilot, it would be clear from context that you're probably calling them a
pilot who is also a p'tahk. You could also phrase or interpret it as an
appositive phrase instead*:* "The p'takh, this pilot, did such-and-such..."
Also, *petaQ* wouldn't be an adjective. I think the grammatical term is
"noun modifier" or the like. But I know what you meant.

I think it's probably fine. We might learn that Klingons would phrase it
differently, but I think the point would still get across. (Precise grammar
is not always at the front of your mind when you're really angry at
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