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

De'vID de.vid.jonpin at gmail.com
Thu Apr 8 01:56:03 PDT 2021

On Thu, 8 Apr 2021 at 08:07, Lieven L. Litaer <levinius at gmx.de> wrote:

> Am 08.04.2021 um 00:03 schrieb De'vID:
> > 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?
> >
> > What do others think?
> I definitely agree that saying {jI...vIpbe'} is NOT culturally taboo, as
> it negates the taboo version.
> Remember that Klingon is not math.

That argument cuts both ways, though. *I* think it's logical that negating
a taboo statement makes it non-taboo, but then someone else can also
reasonably say "logic doesn't matter, the rules are the rules regardless of
logic...". And I would agree with that statement in some other cases, but
not in this one. (For example, it's logical that a verb which has {'e'} as
its object can take an aspect suffix, but TKD says it never does, and
that's the rule regardless of how illogical it is... even though the rule
has been broken in canon.)

> I would even go a step further and say that even without -be' you can
> negate the phrase and make it a non-taboo version:
> {not jIHeghvIp} "I am never afraid to die!"
> {jIHeghvIp 'e' DaQub'a'?} "Do you think I'm afraid to die?"

Exactly. I think the reason that TKD 4.2.2 says {-vIp} is "rarely" used
with a first-person prefix (and not "never") is for these kinds of
situations. But that's just my interpretation, and apparently others
interpret things differently.

> By the way, if you need evidence, it's very small, but think of it this
> way: If it were a taboo combination, then why was it used as a prominent
> example in TKD in chapter 4.3? It even explains when those phrases can
> be used.

That was exactly what I said. The other person's counterargument was that
those statements *are* taboo, and TKD contains taboo statements as examples
of usage (which is true that it does), so the fact that they're used as
examples doesn't demonstrate that they're not taboo.

He's not on the mailing list (which is why I didn't name him), but you can
see his comment to me in the Learn Klingon group on Facebook. I think his
position is also reasonable (if, to me, a bit odd), which is why I asked if
anyone else thinks this way.

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