[tlhIngan Hol] excuse me, but how the jay' does -'eghmoH actually work ?

Will Martin willmartin2 at mac.com
Fri Sep 18 06:37:04 PDT 2020


You start to lose me at {jIHoH’eghmoH} = “I cause someone unspecified to commit suicide.”

This looks like a grammatical error, unless you are trying to say, “I cause myself to kill myself,” which seems like an obvious, unnecessary extension of “I killed myself/I will kill myself/I am killing myself.” Nothing actually causes suicide except for the personal choice to commit the act. An external influence might suggest suicide as a rational choice, but the choice itself is the cause, and the person committing suicide is always the one making that choice.

You could have less confusingly said, {vay’ vIHoH’eghmoH} or perhaps more clearly said, {HoH’eghlu’ ‘e’ vIqaSmoH}.

I really think you are overloading a grammatical construction, when someone speaking the language would have spilled over to a different construction.

That’s what I see as the most common problem when linguists (professional or amateur) start overloading grammatical constructions like this.

If you actually wanted to say something, you might have started out parsing something with a particular grammatical form, then realized that it wasn’t working very well and shift to something else, but your interest isn’t in conveying meaning. Your interest is in how much weight a specific grammatical construction can take before it breaks.

My habitual, unwelcome response is, “Yes, this probably breaks it, but even if it didn’t, there are other, far better ways of conveying the meaning you suggest.”

Your habitual response is, “I don’t care about conveying the meaning. I’m exploring the limits of the grammar.”

So, we go through this, yet again.

And no, honor can’t lack itself. Honor is a trait of living beings. Those beings can have or lack honor, but honor itself can neither have nor lack anything, especially itself.

Honor is like light. A lamp can have light, or it can lack light. Light cannot have light. Light cannot lack light.

Romulans can lack honor, but they cannot cause honor to lack honor.

charghwI’ vaghnerya’ngan

rInpa’ bomnIS be’’a’ pI’.

> On Sep 18, 2020, at 8:58 AM, mayqel qunen'oS <mihkoun at gmail.com> wrote:
> 
> qaStaHvIS QIn tlheghvam, jIHvaD qay'pu' wa': chay' {quv
> luHutlh'eghmoHpu' romuluSngan} mu'tlhegh yajnISlu'. 'op rep ret, vay'
> Daj vIQubpu'. 'ej chaq jIHvaD mu'tlheghvam qay' QIjlaHchu' vay'vam.
> pelaD.
> 
> HoH
> kill
> 
> HoH'egh
> commit suicide
> (kill oneself)
> 
> jIHoH'eghmoH
> I cause someone unspecified to commit suicide
> (I cause someone unspecified to kill himself)
> 
> luHoH'eghmoH
> they cause him/her to commit suicide
> (they cause him/her to kill himself/herself)
> 
> vaj..
> 
> quv luHutlh'eghmoHpu' romuluSngan
> the romulans cause the honor to lack itself
> 
> chaq QIjlaw'ghachvam 'oH mu'tlhegh wa'DIch QIjchu'ghach'e'.
> 
> ~ Qa'yIn
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