[tlhIngan Hol] {mej} with and without {-vo'}

De'vID de.vid.jonpin at gmail.com
Sat May 28 02:23:01 PDT 2022

I've asked Dr. Okrand for clarification about {mej}. In posting our
conversations, I've had to summarise and make some edits (always in
[brackets]), because the back-and-forth was long and threaded and sometimes
when we refer back to "the second option" or whatever it isn't clear
without context. I can't quote everything and have to make cutoffs
somewhere. I now realise that I had made an error in summarising the
situation in my previous message. Dr. Okrand has also gone back and
realised that he had misread something. But it's fortunate that I posted to
the mailing list, because y'all are very sharp-eyed and it's better to
catch errors before the paq'batlh is out than afterwards. For that, I thank
you. DopDaq qul yIchenmoH QobDI' ghu'.

On Tue, 24 May 2022 at 11:08, De'vID <de.vid.jonpin at gmail.com> wrote:

> MO:
> >>> Good catch. Both ways are okay, but the {-vo’} is not needed here.

The error I made in my summary was this: I presented the options as
{chalqachlIjvo' Damej} vs. {chalqachlIj Damej}. Looking over the thread,
Dr. Okrand's "both ways" was just referring to with and without {-vo'}, and
{chalqachlIjvo' bImej} was what he'd actually intended by "without". (The
*original* line in the 1st edition had said {chalqachlIjvo' bImej}, and his
reply was comparing that against the suggested revision of {chalqachlIj

However, he hadn't explicitly said {chalqachlIjvo' Damej} was wrong. The
way that he'd written about {lojmItmeyvo' Damejta'} suggested that
{lojmitmeyvo'} might've been the object of {Damejta'}. He's acknowledged in
his reply to me that this was unclear, and has clarified things below.

> [snip summary of situation] So {chalqachlIj Damejpu'} is correct (if the
tower is not your starting point). But when used with {-vo'}, should it be:
{chalqachlIjvo' bImejpu'} (with the no-object prefix) or {chalqachlIjvo'
Damejpu'} (with the object of {mej} marked with {-vo'})?

>>> It should be {chalqachlIjvo' bImejpu'}.

In the first example you cite, {lojmItmeyvo’ Damejta’} “you left from the
gates” (p. 193, line 11), what's the object of {Damejta'}? [Here I give two
different possible readings of the entire passage, only partly quoted below
because the full quote is just a breakdown of p. 193 lines 11-13.]

[option 1: {ghe'tor} is the object] {ghe'tor Da'elta' 'ej lojmItmeyvo'
ghe'tor Damejta'} "you... entered Gre'thor, and left Gre'thor from the

>>> After re-reading the story, I realize I misinterpreted what was going
on (in the story, not in the grammar necessarily). I should have said
something like "Kahless didn't really spend any time at the gates — he went
right through/past them and, after doing what he did in Gre'thor, went
through/past the gates again on his way out of Gre'thor without being
harmed. So Kotar is describing all of this, for better or worse, by
referencing Gre'thor's checkpoint as an exit point rather than simply
saying Kahless left."

I think [this reading where {ghe'tor} is the object] is right.

[option 2: {lojmItmeyvo'} is the object] TKD says that if the locative
suffix {-Daq} is used with verbs whose meaning include locative notions,
it's redundant but not wrong. (TKD also says that {-vo'} is similar to
{-Daq}.) So in {lojmItmeyvo' Damejta'} the object of {Damejta'} could be
{lojmItmeyvo'}, without contradicting TKD.

>>> TKD does say that about {-Daq}, but it's more complex than the quickie
explanation there. Fortunately, for purposes of finishing up the paq'batlh,
it doesn't matter right now.

The issue here is that the English isn't clear. Does "entered Gre'thor, /
And left the gates unharmed" mean only that Kahless entered Gre'thor
unharmed, or that Kahless entered *and left* Gre'thor unharmed?

>>> Right. The English passage isn't clear all by itself. But in the
context of the story, I think it means that Kahless entered Gre'thor, did
whatever he did there, and then left Gre'thor and went on his way fit as a
{ngItHel}. Kotar seems to be suggesting that before Kahless did this,
others had tried to get in and out of Gre'thor but either failed or were
harmed in the process (sustaining their injuries either deep in Gre'thor or
at the gates on the way out… or maybe after being caught by the pursuing

About the second example you cite, {ghe’tor Da’elmo’ ’ej Damejmo’} “because
you entered and left Gre’thor} (p. 195, line 26), you wrote: "[snip full
quote] So no {-vo’} is needed."

If no {-vo'} is needed, then {ghe'tor Damejmo'} is correct. But if {-vo'}
had been needed, would the correct sentence have been {ghe'torvo' bImejmo'}
or {ghe'torvo' Damejmo'}?

>>> {ghe'torvo' bImejmo'}

[Here follows a discussion about what changes we should send to the
editors, in light of this update.]

[By the way, does] what you wrote about {-vo'} applies to {tlheD} as well
as {mej}? [Here, I quote p. 85, lines 10-13] Should it be {ghe'torvo'
tlheD} or {ghe'tor tlheD}?

>>> I think for the paq'batlh, we should change the line to {ghe'tor 'el
nuv qoj ghe'tor mej ghaH}.

I think this is better for two reasons: (1) Vocabulary: Using {mej} rather
than{tlheD} makes the sentence match the later pairings of {'el} and {mej}
on pp. 193 and 195 (all three referring to the same event). (2)
Grammar/style: In this passage, it's more interesting stylistically (maybe
even poetically) if the two parts of the sentence are similar, that is, if
the nouns preceding the verbs are grammatically the same (neither has a
suffix). And, as a bonus, it matches p. 195 and maybe p. 193, depending on
what we decide to do there.

I realize this doesn't answer the question about {tlheD} and {-vo'}, but
first things (paq'batlh revisions) first.

Thanks for clarifying this.

>>> I'm not sure that I did!

(end of message)

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