[tlhIngan Hol] {-'egh} and {-chuq} with {-lu'}

SuStel sustel at trimboli.name
Tue Sep 14 08:42:27 PDT 2021

On 9/14/2021 11:17 AM, Will Martin wrote:
> The only part that seems weird to me (besides the already mentioned 
> problem with stative verbs) is the use of {-chuqlu’}. It’s just a gut 
> reaction since I tend to think of indefinite subjects as singular. 
> {not Sovlu’.} “One never knows.” We don’t know who the One is, hence 
> the Indefinite Subject, and likely more than one individual could 
> stand in the place of the Indefinite Subject, but can the Indefinite 
> Subject be plural? Maybe, but I’m not so sure.

Indefinite subjects are neither singular nor plural. They're indefinite.

Thinking of indefinite subjects as singular because you translate them 
as English impersonal /one/ is understandable, but it shows you thinking 
in English and applying English grammar to Klingon. I can see no reason 
why the combination of *-chuq* and *-lu'* can't work. Whoever is doing 
the action, they're doing it among themselves.

*'ejDo'Daq boQchuqlu'.
*/On a starship, people help each other./

That there is no plural version of English impersonal /one/ is a fact of 
English, not of Klingon.

> The canon example that eventually arose fit this Singular Indefinite 
> Subject model of the grammar. {potlhbe'chugh yay, qatlh pe''eghlu’?} 
> If winning is not important, why does one keep score?”

There is no implication of a singular indefinite subject here. You 
simply used a singular subject when translating it into English.

> The use of {-chuq} implies two nouns as Indefinite Subject. It takes 
> at least two to do anything to each other.

There are no nouns as subject. The subject is indefinite.

> Maybe this is fine, but it feels weird and I don’t think I’ve run into 
> any canon to support it.

No, we haven't. It feels weird because we don't do it in English. But 
what it means in Klingon seems perfectly sensible.

> Add that the verb prefixes with {-lu’} always use the singular third 
> person object indicated, while basically reversing the subject/object 
> functions of the prefix, heavily suggesting a singular Indefinite 
> Subject. We can say {vIparHa’lu’}, (somebody likes me), and 
> {wIparHa’lu’} (somebody likes us), but we can’t say *DIparHa’lu’* 
> (multiple somebodies like us). It’s specifically disallowed by the 
> grammar.

The prefixes get "reversed" because there is no subject to agree with, 
so they agree with only the object. There is no actual reversal 
happening here. The fact that the prefixes that normally indicate 
singular, third-person object are used might be pure coincidence.

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