[tlhIngan Hol] conversation with Dr. Okrand about {tuQmoH}

Ed Bailey bellerophon.modeler at gmail.com
Sun May 22 18:28:03 PDT 2022

On Sunday, May 22, 2022, Alan Anderson <qunchuy at alcaco.net> wrote:

> On Sun, May 22, 2022 at 2:44 PM Ed Bailey <bellerophon.modeler at gmail.com>
> wrote:
>> But you were uncomfortable with using {tuQmoH} to mean "cause (someone)
>> to wear," right?
> Based on the known meanings of the verb *tuQ* and the suffix *-moH*, and
> with the example of *qawmoH* as a possible pattern, I was always
> completely comfortable using *tuQmoH* that way.
> If it weren't for the explicit "it always means 'on oneself'" usage note,
> I would still be comfortable with that usage. After all, we have both the
> made-from-parts *lo'+laH* *can use (something)* and the atomic *lo'laH* *be
> valuable*, and we have both *ja'+chuq **confer, tell one another* and
> *ja'chuq* *succession ritual*. So why not also admit the grammatically
> justifiable interpretation of "cause (someone) to wear"? The answer turns
> out to be something like "because it's always the subject doing the
> wearing." For Klingon, fiat is still a valid way of defining usage.
> -- ghunchu'wI'

I suppose the lesson is to tread carefully around idiomatic usage. Klingon
has a really high percentage of logically derivable usage, for obvious
reasons; otherwise, learning Klingon would be a very different experience!
One surprise for me while learning Klingon was that {tuQmoH} is a special
case: I remember wondering why "put on" wasn't {tuQchoH} as I would have
expected. The unexpected usage of {tuQmoH} made me doubt whether it could
also mean "cause to wear," in the absence of a canon example to confirm it.

As for the other examples you cite, there can be no confusion between the
usages of {ja'chuq} as a noun and as a verb, and adjectival verb {lo'laH}
"be valuable" isn't used like {lo'laH} "can use," which requires an object
(or at least one implied by context).

Anyway, it pays to take note of the idiomatic usage of Klingon, which
reminds me I should review it. Do you know of a complete list? I'm not
thinking of idioms (like the list at http://klingon.wiki/En/Idioms) but of
idiomatic usage, which might include irregular plurals and such.

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