[tlhIngan Hol] Klingon Word of the Day: rup

Steven Boozer sboozer at uchicago.edu
Wed Oct 27 11:48:47 PDT 2021

I’m guessing this was originally posted by either De’vID or Lieven to the List.  It appears that this was one of the many posts I missed during the COVID lockdown when I didn’t have access to my email.  I do have the new word lists from the virtual qep’a’ and qepHom but I haven’t seen anything containing “the words of god himself” over those six months.  Thanks for posting this, mayqel.

Voragh, Ca'Non Master of the Klingons
    Please contribute relevant vocabulary or notes from the
    last year or two.  I’ve fallen behind in updating my files.

From: tlhIngan-Hol On Behalf Of mayqel qunen'oS

[Voragh wrote:]
>   ruplu'wI' tax payer

>   ("one who is taxed") (source?)

I think that although grammar-wise there's nothing which prohibits the simultaneous use of {-lu'} and {-wI'}, we usually don't do it for reason(s) I don't remember.

I'm just writing this so as to prevent any beginner(s) from developing a habit of writing {-lu'wI'}.

[Voragh wrote again]:

> It’s been done, but rarely and never by Okrand AFAIK.  I found only 5 more examples in my notes:


>   *chellu'wI'          addendum, appendix [Qov]

>   *leghbe'lu'wI'    unseen (one) [GILGAMESH]

>   *ngoHlu'wI'        Christ (“anointed one”), messiah [KBTP]

>   *poQlu'wI'          defendant (i.e. litigant in lawsuit) [source?]

>   *rachlu'wI'          Augment (i.e. genetically enhanced) [source?]

I knew it!!! I jay' knew it!!!

Hear ye, hear ye, the words of god himself followeth, as they where heardeth in a mail senteth to the list on Sunday, May 24, 2020.

(the title of the thread was -lu'wI')


Regarding -lu'wI' — I checked with Maltz. He said that for poetry (and maybe other literary forms), this sort of thing may occur from time to time, but it's not considered "normal" grammar. This is because the meaning of -lu'wI' (from a Klingon point of view) is odd (but therefore occasionally appropriate for poetry and such). Leaving -lu' aside for a while…-wI' is defined in TKD as "one who is, one who does, thing which is, thing which does." In all cases, the subject of the verb (to which -wI' is attached) is the doer or the "be-er," the one who performs the action (if it's that kind of verb) or carries or exhibits the characteristic (if it's that other kind of verb). The noun formed by adding -wI' is equivalent to the subject of the verb to which -wI' is attached (as far as meaning goes — not getting into fine points of grammatical description). yItwI' "walker" (the subject of yIt is the yItwI') qIpwI' "hitter" (the subject of qIp is the qIpwI') wochwI' "tall one" (the subject of woch is the wochwI') When -lu' enters the picture, things change. The subject of a verb with -lu' is "unknown, indefinite, and/or general." Thus, qIplu' is "someone/something hits (someone or something)" or, conventionally but not really literally, "(someone/something) is hit." So qIplu'wI' would mean something like "indefinite hitter" or "unknown hitter" or "essence of hitter" or some such  (if it means anything at all).  It doesn't refer to the person (or thing) being hit because a -wI' noun is the perpetrator or instigator of an action (or carrier of a trait), not someone (or something) affected by an action. There may be instances (again, particularly in poetry) where the imagery or notion of an "unknown/indefinite /vague hitter" makes sense, though I can't conjure one up right now (and Maltz doesn't want to try). As for how to say "the hit one, someone who is hit" or "the one who is loved" -This reminds me of a (pretty funny) book and movie from years ago called "The Loved One" (about the funeral industry in LA). Here, the phrase "the loved one," of course, is a euphemism used by the funeral director for "the deceased  person,"  but  the  implication  is  that  "the  loved  one"  was  loved  by  whomever  the  funeral  director  is  talking to  (or  negotiating  with)  about  the  funeral  —  the  deceased  person  is  "the  one  you  love(d)."  Points  to -bogh , I guess.


Ζεὺς ἦν, Ζεὺς ἐστίν, Ζεὺς ἔσσεται· ὦ μεγάλε Ζεῦ
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