[tlhIngan Hol] using chegh without an object

Will Martin willmartin2 at mac.com
Thu Feb 18 09:41:45 PST 2021

Here’s a different angle to explain it.

Many verbs have direct objects. They also can have prepositional relationships to objects. Some prepositional relationships are explicit, meaning that you use an actual preposition with the object. Other prepositional relationships are implied in the verb.

My classic example is, “The Moon orbits the Earth." The Moon also goes around the Earth. “Around” is a preposition explaining the “go” relationship between the Earth and the Moon. 

“Orbit” is a verb that has that relationship built into its link to its direct object. The Moon doesn’t go the Earth. It goes around it. While you can say the Moon orbits around the Earth, this is really poor English because the “Around” doesn’t tell you anything. It’s redundantly redundant. The “around” is implied by the word choice “orbit”.

So, {chegh} is kind of like “orbit”. It has a direct object with an implied “to” prepositional relationship built into it. Meanwhile, the English word “return” does NOT have this prepositional relationship built in. I don’t return the ship. I return TO the ship. It would mean something extremely different were I to say I return the ship.

So, when Okrand tries to give a gloss definition for {chegh}, he has to add the word “to” to the gloss. {chegh} doesn’t mean “return”. It means “return to”.

Meanwhile, you could say the Moon orbits. You don’t have to say what it orbits, if context makes that clear.

Similarly {jIchegh} means “I return.” Technically, it does mean “I return (to),” but since I’m not mentioning what the object is that I’m returning to, the better translation omits the word “to”. That’s why the gloss puts “to” in parentheses. It’s optional. You put the word “to” in your translation if there is an explicit object. You don’t put the word “to” in your English translation if there is no explicit direct object.

In the scene in question, everybody knows where the speaker is returning to. He doesn’t need to mention it. He probably could have said either {wIchegh} or {machegh}. It doesn’t really matter. Neither expression is wrong. In this case, since there is no explicit direct object, either prefix works, because we know that you can’t return without somewhere to return to, so this is like choosing between “We’re returning to it,” vs. “We’re returning.” The meaning is the same.

charghwI’ vaghnerya’ngan

rInpa’ bomnIS be’’a’ pI’.

> On Feb 18, 2021, at 10:59 AM, Russ Perry Jr <russperryjr at sbcglobal.net> wrote:
> In case it’s not clear from other replies, I think your misunderstanding is due to you thinking, in English as well as Klingon, that the “on” is attached to “chegh”, but “on” is a preposition — essentially the “Daq” in the canon phrase you mention.  “lupDujHom” is “on the shuttle”; “jIchegh” is “I return”.  Seems like you just split it differently than that...
> Russ
>> On Feb 18, 2021, at 7:22 AM, mayqel qunen'oS <mihkoun at gmail.com> wrote:
>> lieven:
>>> Why?
>> Because of the Ca'Non {lupDujHomDaq jIchegh} "I return on the shuttle".
>> The {DaH machegh} feels like the {lupDujHomDaq jIchegh} without the {lupDujHomDaq} part.
>> I understand as "now we return on.." and that's it.
>> ~ Dana'an
>> vIghro' tIQ vIjeylaHchugh..
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