[tlhIngan Hol] vech

SuStel sustel at trimboli.name
Thu Jun 17 06:51:14 PDT 2021

On 6/17/2021 9:16 AM, Lieven L. Litaer wrote:
> On 6/17/2021 4:59 AM, Lieven L. Litaer wrote:
>>> So, to say "I cross my fingers", you say {nItlhDu' vIvechchuqmoH}, and
>>> not {vIvechmoH}.
> Am 17.06.2021 um 14:55 schrieb SuStel:
>> Was there any discussion about using a third-person object prefix along
>> with the -chuq suffix?
> That is indeed a very good question, and no, we did not focus on this.
> We did not really think about the prefixes, they followwed
> automatically. In the discussion, the topic was first on the verb
> {vIvech}, then {vIvechmoH} - and the we noticed that it need the {-chuq}
> suffix to say each other. Since the subject and the object of the
> sentence did not change ("I --> fingers") we also didn't think about the
> question whether this suffix woudl work there - as opposed to what TKD.
> Of course we all know that TKD is not complete.
> For the record, it was me who suggested {vIvechchuqmoH} and Okrand said
> that it's okay. It *might* be possible that he had forgotten about the
> usage of this suffix... But on the other hand, if you regard [vechchuq]
> as one unit, then {vI-[vechchuq]-moH} seems quite plausible.

I, for one, have no trouble understanding the restriction on prefixes 
and reflexive suffixes as meaning, "Use of these reflexive suffixes 
/replaces/ the presence of an object, so use the appropriate prefix." 
Given that Klingon is very flexible with objects, if some other object 
that represents something /other/ than the reflexive entity is used, it 
should include the appropriate prefix.

> In the meantime, I try to think of other such constructions. What about
> "I cause him to hit himself" - {vIqIp'eghmoH}. Why not?
> ---
> Going a bit further, I think the answer is hidden in the suffix {-moH}.
> TKD gives this small example:
> {HIQoymoH} "let me hear (something)"
> The suffix indicates "me" as the object of the entire sentence (i.e. the
> -moH), but the translation reveals that the object of the verb is
> "something", not "me".

Not exactly. The "(something)" is in parentheses to indicate that 
there's an /implication/ of hearing "something," but that it isn't 
actually stated in the sentence. Indeed, Kruge's line in the movie is 
"Let me hear."

We must remember that what Klingon considers an "object" is never 
rigorously defined. In fact, it seems that the role of "object" can be a 
number of different things, including direct object (*De' vIghojmoH*/I 
teach the information/) and indirect object (*puq vIghojmoH*/I teach the 
child/). We also know that direct and indirect objects can inhabit the 
same sentence (*puqvaD De' vIghojmoH*/I teach the child the 
information/), and that the verb prefix can sometimes refer to objects 
that aren't present (*De' mughojmoH*/He/she teaches me the information/).

So I don't find it at all surprising that we can have a sentence with a 
reflexive suffix, causing an object to "disappear" into the verb, and 
then add another object referring to something else.

> So based on that, I would conclude that when you
> have a verb with {-moH}, the used prefix aims at the person being
> influenced without respect to what the object of the verb itself is.
> That would explain the usage of {vI-} in {vIvechchuqmoH}.

I don't think you need such a specific set of criteria. It's not that 
you need *-moH;* it's just that *-moH* adds a whole new semantic role 
(causer) to the sentence, and the causer may be acting upon or towards a 
completely different direct or indirect object than the 
agent/experiencer. It's kind of an object free-for-all. The only real 
question is which object gets priority, and it seems to be that the 
direct object that the agent is acting upon has priority over any 
indirect object receiving the action (which gets pushed into the 
adverbial soup at the front with a *-vaD* added to it). Meanwhile, 
elided first- and second-person indirect objects can optionally hijack 
the prefix.

With all that going on, it's no wonder the rule of "use a no-object 
prefix with the reflexive suffixes" gets overridden.

> (Very roughly said, think of -moH as a verb and translate literally: "I
> moH THEM to [vechchuq]")

Say rather: *-moH* focuses your attention on the causer, not the doer, 
but if you can squeeze the doer in there somewhere, go for it.


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