[tlhIngan Hol] does {-be'} negate the {-vIp} taboo?

De'vID de.vid.jonpin at gmail.com
Wed Apr 7 15:03:30 PDT 2021

In TKD 4.2.2, it says that: "This suffix [{-vIp}] is rarely used with a
prefix meaning 'I' or 'we'. Though it is grammatically correct, it is
culturally taboo."

In TKD 4.3, in illustrating the rover {-qu'}, the following example
sentences appear:
{pIHoHvIpbe'qu'} "We are NOT afraid to kill you"
{pIHoHvIpqu'be'} "We are not AFRAID to kill you"
{pIHoHqu'vIpbe'} "We are not afraid to KILL you"

It is then explained under which circumstances each of those sentences
might be used.

These sentences use the prefix {pI-}, which is "we-you", so it seems at
first glance that those sentences satisfy the requirement of the taboo. The
unnegated version, {pIHoHvIp} "we are afraid to kill you", is without
question culturally taboo. However, does the fact that {-vIp} is negated by
{-be'} change this?

It's not explicitly stated, but it seems to me that a statement like "I am
not afraid to fight you" would not be culturally taboo to say for a
Klingon. However, in a discussion with a skilled Klingon speaker, it came
up that he believes that that statement is still culturally taboo because
it satisfies the description in TKD 4.2.2. I think that this is one of
those cases where the TKD is giving a sketch, and the reader is supposed to
work out that the opposite of a taboo statement is not taboo, but
admittedly there is no evidence to support this in TKD itself.

What do others think?

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