[tlhIngan Hol] does -jaj have the "may your request be granted" meaning ?

SuStel sustel at trimboli.name
Wed Sep 30 13:03:09 PDT 2020

On 9/30/2020 2:17 PM, Will Martin wrote:
> Everyone has been using the word “wish” to describe the verb suffix 
> {-jaj}. My understanding has been that it’s more like a blessing than 
> a wish. It’s one thing to wish someone success in battle. That’s 
> subtly different from addressing the person who is about to go to 
> battle and offer the blessing, “May you be successful in battle!”
> I can wish I had a sandwich.
> That’s not what I’d use {-jaj} for, though. “May it be that I get a 
> sandwich!” Really?
> Yes, you wish for the thing that you offer as a blessing, but offering 
> a blessing is really different from generic wishing in an important 
> way. It’s more like, “There’s an entity for which I want something, 
> and I’d like to muster whatever small influence I have over Fate to 
> improve the odds that this entity gets what I’m wishing for it."

*-jaj* forms the Klingon optative mood. It is not about influencing fate 
or giving blessings; it is about expressing a hope for the future with 
the subtext that you believe the thing you hope for is somehow right or 
proper. If you happen to believe in supernatural powers you might speak 
to them to get them to act on your behalf, but that's not what *-jaj* is 
about. (/God save the Queen/ is optative, but it is not addressing God 
and is not imperative. Who else but the God you are not addressing is 
going to influence God into saving the Queen?)

*-jaj* is also not just about /wanting/ something. If you were a hungry 
prisoner, you wouldn't tell your guard, *choje'jaj*/may you feed me./ 
You would just say *choje' vIneH*/I want you to feed me/ (or, more 
simply, *HIje'* /feed me!)/ Using *-jaj* has to express a hope in the 
face of possible failure.


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