[tlhIngan Hol] when to {mej} and when to {tlheD}

Steven Boozer sboozer at uchicago.edu
Tue Mar 23 09:01:56 PDT 2021

(Okrand, qepHom 2019):  The difference between {mej} “leave” and {tlheD} “depart” is that {tlheD} implies setting out on a journey, having a goal or destination in mind, while {mej} refers simply to leaving one's current location. In both cases, the object is the place you're departing/leaving from.

Here are some examples of {mej} to study with SuStel’s explanation in mind:

ghorgh mamej
When do we leave? (CK)

vagh rep bImejnIS
Check-out time is five a.m. (CK)

bImejDI' reH betleHlIj yItlhap
Never leave without your bet'telh. (TKW )

DorDI' jar mejpu'
At the end of the month, he/she left. (HQ 12.2:8)

DaH jImej
Good-bye. (TNK)

bImej 'ej bIyIn
[translation unavailable] (PB)

yImej qeylIS
Be gone with you, Kahless (PB)

yIghoS yImej
Go now, leave me. (PB)

mej loD qan
The old man walks away (PB)

jatlh 'e' mevDI' nuvpu' mejmoH ghaH ratlh be'nalDaj luqara' neH.
After his last words, all were sent away, but his wife Lukara. (PB)

vavlI' loDnI'lI' je DaSammeH ghe'tor Da'elmo' 'ej Damejmo' QeHchoH qa'pu' vaj lubIjlu'
They will pay for the anger you caused by entering and leaving, Gre'thor in search of your kin. (PB)

ghe'tor Da'elta' 'ej lojmItmeyvo' Damejta' 'ach bIrIQbe'mo' SoH neH
Since you are the only one who ever entered Gre'thor, and left the gates unharmed  (PB)

bIghHa' DamejDI' pagh QaS yInob
Get out of jail free.  (MKE)

… and examples of {tlheD}:

tlheDrup qeylIS
(PB, section title)

tlheDDI' quvmoHmeH / veng HeHDaq lutlha' / SaD law' nuvpu'
Thousands followed him to the edge of the city, to bid him farewell. (PB)

ghe'tor 'el nuv ghe'torvo' tlheD ghaH / 'e' tu'be'chugh neH veqlargh / ghe'torvo' cheghlaH nuvvam
One can only return from this Underworld, If Fek'lhr does not notice one Entering or leaving Gre'thor. (PB)

tera' jaj cha'maH, jar vagh, DIS wa' Hut cha' Soch, PARIS pawmeH NEW YORK-vo' tlheDta'.
[untranslated] (NASM, Spirit of St. Louis)


From: SuStel
Sent: Tuesday, March 23, 2021 10:20 AM

On 3/23/2021 11:12 AM, mayqel qunen'oS wrote:
The verb {mej} refers simply to leaving one's current location, while {tlheD} generally implies setting on a journey with a goal or destination in mind.

But that's rather strange, since normal sane people, never leave any location without a goal or destination in mind.

Normal, sane people, don't suddenly get up, leave their house,work,etc without a goal or destination in mind.

Normal, sane people, don't suddenly find themselves in the street, just wandering without a goal or destination in mind.

Sure they do. "I can see you two want to be alone... uh... so, uh... I'll just be heading out... I guess?" That's mej but not tlheD. You're not leaving to go somewhere; you're leaving so you're not here.

"Get out of my face! I don't want to see you anymore!" You're ordering someone to mej, not tlheD. You don't care where they go, so long as they go.

"Closing time! You don't have to go home, but you can't stay here." That's mej, not tlheD. You're being kicked out of the bar, and the bartender is specifically telling you that what your destination is doesn't matter.

"Cindy, your brother is sleepwalking again. He just left the room." The sleepwalker needn't have a destination in mind. That's mej, not tlheD.

Any why are you excluding insane people from the grammar? Maybe an insane person simply walks out of the room and wanders the street for absolutely no reason. That's mej, not tlheD.



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