[tlhIngan Hol] {-la'} {-luH} suffix

mayqel qunen'oS mihkoun at gmail.com
Sat May 8 09:02:17 PDT 2021

qen boQwI' vInaw'taHvIS, bong {-luH} mojaq vItu'pu'. mojaqvam Del kgt:


Among those suffixes that can never occur together are {-lu'} (indefinite subject indicator) and {-laH} ("can, able"). The former is used when the subject is unknown or indefinite, often translated into Federation Standard by means of the passive voice: {jagh jonlu'} ("One captures the enemy," or "The enemy is captured"; {jagh} "enemy"; {jon} "capture"). The latter is used to express ability: {jagh jonlaH} ("He/she can capture the enemy"). If it is desirable to express the ideas of "indefinite subject" and "ability" at the same time, such as in the sentences "One can capture the enemy" or "The enemy can be captured," it is not uncommon to use the noun {vay'} ("somebody, anybody") as the subject of the sentence: {jagh jonlaH vay'} ("Somebody can capture the enemy," or "Anybody can capture the enemy"). Nevertheless, some speakers seem to want to put the two concepts into a single word, and, on rare occasion, they will do so. Rather than violating the rules by using the two suffixes sequentially (that is, {-lu'laH} or {-laHlu'}), however, these speakers will say either {-luH} or {-la'}, employing totally artificial, made-up suffixes formed by fusing {-lu'} and {-laH}, as in {jagh jonluH} or {jagh jonla'} ("The enemy can be captured"). No one accepts such constructions as grammatical; their inappropriateness, the way they grate on the Klingon ear, is exactly what gives them elocutionary clout. A visitor may hear one of these odd suffixes occasionally, but, as with other intentionally ungrammatical forms, it is best to avoid using them until one is extremely comfortable with the nuances of Klingon style.


boQwI'Daq mojaqvam vItu'pu'DI', SIbI' jIQubpu': "oh crap.. why did I need to find this?"

DaH jItlhu'qu'; {-la'}/{-luH} vIlo'choH vIneHchu'.. chaq pagh wa'leS tu'lu'; vaj DaH {-la'}/{-luH} vIlo'nIStaH.

~ Dana'an
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