[tlhIngan Hol] they-them prefix with -moH -'egh with -moH and DoHmoH

Will Martin willmartin2 at mac.com
Tue Jun 30 11:09:55 PDT 2020

Sometimes, I really yearn for the days when we knew less about {-moH} with multiple objects… Life as a Klingon speaker was so much simpler in those more innocent days.

If the dictionary definition of {DoHmoH} as “drive back” is acceptable, then one would think that {nuDoHmoH} would be sufficient, with perhaps {chaHvo’} tossed in at the beginning, just to be really clear about direction of travel.

We don’t have a problem with {nughojmoH} for “They teach us,” right? Why does this have to be more complicated?

charghwI’ vaghnerya’ngan

rInpa’ bomnIS be’’a’ pI’.

> On Jun 30, 2020, at 9:31 AM, SuStel <sustel at trimboli.name> wrote:
> On 6/30/2020 9:05 AM, mayqel qunen'oS wrote:
>> Now, lets forget this example, and consider the following one: There's
>> a starship closing in on another ship, and that second starship uses a
>> repellent beam to drive the first ship back. Now, the crew of the ship
>> which has been driven back wants to say "they drove us back from
>> them".
>> Suppose we write:
>> maHvaD DoHmoHta'. The problem here will be, that although there's the
>> null prefix for they-them, this prefix seemingly/apparently works only
>> when the two "they" and "them" are two different groups.
> Interpret it this way: maHvaD <no object> DoHmoHta'. They drove us back. Which would be easier said as nuDoHmoHta'.
>> In the example above, since the subject and object of DoHmoH are the
>> same, we can't apply the null prefix in question.
> I don't think there's any rule that says the subject and object can't be the same. There is a rule that says the subject-object combinations marked as "—" can't be expressed, but these combinations are the ones the express 1st-person/1st-person and 2nd-person/2nd-person.
> Mind you, I think it's likely that you're correct that the same entity can't be both subject and object, but it's not a rule that has been given to us.
> So the job now is not just to decide how to translate They drove us back from themselves, which employs a preposition that doesn't apply in the Klingon; it is to decide how a Klingon would say this natively. I think a Klingon would utilize context and common sense and say nuDoHmoHta' They drove us back. By not specifying what we're being driven from, it's natural to assume that we're being driven from the position they hold. You CAN add a specific location you're being driven from, even if it's just Daqchaj their location, but you don't have to.
>> Perhaps it would be tempting to write:
>> maHvaD DoH'eghmoHta'
>> they caused themselves to back away from us
> Yuck. No thank you. This doesn't mean the same thing at all.
>> Since with the {-'egh} the object acts on itself, thus overcoming the
>> they-them prefix restriction. But again, there's something seemingly
>> wrong with this sentence too, which I can't identify.
> The thing you can't identify is this: to use -'egh to say that the object acts on itself, which is NOT an obvious reading in any circumstance anyway, you need an object. You've already got a subject: they. To make -'egh apply to them-the-object, there would need to be the same they as both subject and object anyway. You haven't avoided the problem at all.
> -- 
> SuStel
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