[tlhIngan Hol] {-meH}ed nouns with {-chuq}

Will Martin willmartin2 at mac.com
Wed May 6 08:29:32 PDT 2020

The thing to add to this that hasn’t been mentioned yet is that {-meH} clauses, especially when they modify nouns, are the closest thing Klingon has to an infinitive form of the verb. It’s the one time that a null prefix doesn’t necessarily imply a subject. It might, but it doesn’t have to.

{ghojmeH taj} doesn’t necessarily translate to “In order that he/she/it/they learn(s)”. It can very acceptably be translated as “a learning knife” or “an in-order-to-learn knife” or “a knife which is for the purpose of learning". You don’t have to add {-lu’} to imply an indefinite subject. It is not universally necessary to have a subject in this instance because {ghojmeH} doesn’t tell you what the knife does or necessarily tell you what a person does with the knife in the past, present, or future. It merely describes what kind of knife it is.

You can kill someone with a {ghojmeH taj}. You can carve a statue with a {ghojmeH taj}. You can remove a splinter with a {ghojmeH taj}. You can pick a lock with a {ghojmeH taj}. You can throw it. You can stow it. You can bake it in a pie. The specific history of this knife or its future is not what {ghojmeH} tells you about. Nothing specific ever happens to this knife because of {ghojmeH}. It merely identifies the type of knife.

Also, for {ja’chuqmeH rojHom}, the {-chuq} is not so much to functioning to imply a plural subject for {ja’} as it is to make {ja’} have the meaning “discuss, confer” instead of “tell”. A purpose clause applied to a noun is unique in Klingon grammar as the one time when you don’t particularly imply a subject on the verb.

Note that if one never learns from using a {ghojmeH taj} and no discussion happens at a {ja’chuqmeH rojHom} before a riot occurs and the discussion group starts murdering each other using {ghojmeH tajmey}, the knife is still a {ghojmeH taj} and the truce is still a {ja’chuqmeH rojHom}.

charghwI’ vaghnerya’ngan

rInpa’ bomnIS be’’a’ pI’.

> On May 6, 2020, at 10:10 AM, Alan Anderson <qunchuy at alcaco.net> wrote:
> On May 6, 2020, at 9:17 AM, mayqel qunen'oS <mihkoun at gmail.com> wrote:
>> The reason I understand this sentence this way, is that it sounds
>> weird to have {ja'chuqmeH rojHom} as in "confering truce".
> It’s not any more weird than {ghojmeH taj} or {qaSuchmeH 'eb}. If your problem is with the translation, think of it as “parley”.
> -- ghunchu'wI'
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