[tlhIngan Hol] lightning lightning bolt and {pe'bIl}

SuStel sustel at trimboli.name
Tue May 25 05:01:28 PDT 2021

On 5/25/2021 7:45 AM, mayqel qunen'oS wrote:
> (st.klingon 11/1997):
> > Speakers who do this seem to be aware that they are breaking the rules,
> > so they are doing it for rhetorical effect. (It has the same sort of 
> feeling, perhaps,
> > as if someone were to say in English … “It's lightninging and 
> thundering outside…”)
> What is this "this" which speakers do?

Erroneously think of *-moH* as being part of the verb stem and saying 
things like *quvmoH'egh*/he/she honors himself/herself./ See the 
transcript here: klingonska.org/canon/1997-11-30-news.txt 

> However, I'd like to take this opportunity to say, that one of the 
> things in Klingon I dislike (and when I say dislike, I mean hate), is 
> when multiple meanings are shoved on a single word.
> If I say {muD Qun ghaH zeus'e'}, then what do I mean? "Zeus is a god 
> of weather", or "Zeus is a god of the atmosphere"?

There are two problems here.

First of all, *muD* doesn't mean /weather./ *muD* means /atmosphere,/ 
and you can talk about *muD Dotlh*/the status of the atmosphere/ to 
refer to what the weather is doing. We don't have a term for the actual 
weather in Klingon, just status of the atmosphere. So I can say things 
like *muD Dotlh HIja'!*/Tell me what the weather is like!/ (Literally, 
/Tell me the atmosphere's status!/), but I probably wouldn't say things 
like *muD Dotlh Qun ghaH Zeus'e'*/Zeus is the god of the atmosphere's 
status,/ because what I WANT to say is that he's the god of the rain and 
wind and lightning and clouds all put together, not the god of the 
weather report.

Secondly, you MUST accept that languages give multiple meanings to 
words. ALL languages do it. I can't demonstrate this in Greek for you, 
but it's easy in English: I'll pick a word, say /high./ Dictionary.com 
lists /forty/ distinct senses of the word. How do you know which sense I 
mean when I say it? Context. If I say /I can jump really high,/ you know 
I don't mean /high /as in sense 16, "rich; extravagant; luxurious" or 
sense 18, "remote." Or most of the others. You know what I mean, because 
there's only a limited number of those senses that I could apply to my 
own jumping.

> Now, yes, even in natural languages this can happen/happens, but the 
> tools one has in a natural language (vocabulary + grammar) give him 
> ways to make things clear. Let alone the fact, that in natural 
> languages there are so many synonyms for a number of words. So one can 
> simply choose another word/synonym.
> Of course, being on this list for almost 6 years, I know/expect that 
> someone will say "context will clarify". But I don't think that a 
> reader is obligated to read an entire paragraph each time the 
> clarification could easily be made, if only we hadn't received a 
> billion different meanings for a single word.

You don't need to read a whole paragraph to get context. In /I jump 
really high,/ the context is me jumping. That's enough context to know 
which kind of /high/ I'm talking about.


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