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Author Topic: Able and willing - -qanglaH or -qang 'ej -laH?  (Read 920 times)
chalvatlh
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In order to succeed, you must enjoy eating poison!


« on: 05 08, 2011, 07:31: AM »

Hi, gang!

I was wondering a bit about how suffixes of different classes interact with each other. It seems to me that some seem to modify the roots they're attached to almost independently of one another, whereas others seem to affect one another.

For example:

The word vIchennISmoH can supposedly mean both "I need to create it" or "I cause it to need to form", and qaghojmoHlaH can supposedly mean both "I'm able to cause you to learn" or "I cause you to be able to learn", and it is up to context to clarify which the speaker means.
On the other hand, the verb suffix -neS doesn't seem to have much interplay with any other verb suffixes; you add it to show deference, regardless of what action you're performing.

To express this in a different way: There are suffixes that I'd like to use as rovers; t'd be nice to be able to say qaghojmoHlaH when I mean "I can teach you" and qaghojlaHmoH when I mean "I can make you able to learn", or to say qaHoHrupmoH when I mean "I make you prepared to kill" and qaHoHmoHrup for "I am prepared to make you kill".
On the other hand, the verb suffix -neS could go anywhere, and it'd just mean "Oh, and by the way, you're my superior and I honor you". There's no reason it even needs to be attached to the verb; one could just use it as an exclamation and get the same effect.

So, I'd like to know what you all think of the word toy'qanglaH {serve-willing-able}
As I can see it, you can look at it in three ways:
  • You can regard it as though the -qang acts on toy'-laH, making this "willing to be able to serve".
  • You can regard it as though the -laH acts on toy'qang, making this "able to be willing to serve".
  • ...or you can regard it as though the two suffixes act on the stem independently, making this "able and willing to serve"; in effect, this would be equivalent to toy'qang 'ej toy'laH.

Am I correct in thinking that these are all correct interpretations, and that it is entirely up to context to decide which is intended?
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qurgh_
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« Reply #1 on: 05 16, 2011, 03:16: PM »

Hmm...

I would process <vIchennISmoH> as "I need to make it" or "I need to cause it to form". I wouldn't parse is as "I cause it to need to form". That would be something like <jIHmo', chennIS 'oH> "because of me, it needs to form".

Same with <qaghojlaHmoH> "I am able to teach you" or "I am able to cause you to learn". It doesn't mean "I cause you to be able to learn", -laH effects the subject not the object, so that would be <jIHmo', bIghojlaH> "because of me, you are able to learn".

<qaHoHrupmoH> "I am ready to cause you to kill".

I don't translate -moH to mean "make", as to me "make" implies a conscious decision to cause something to happen. I can "cause" someone to die (by accidentally forgetting to ground that wire, I caused his death) without "making" them die (I put the live wire in his pants and made him die). "My car caused the rabbit to run out of the road, but it was his brain that made him actually do it" or "I can cause you to learn Klingon, by running a language class, but I can't make you learn it, only you can do that.". Maybe this is a subtlety of English.

To me <toy'qanglaH> means "He/she/it is able and is willing to serve".

I always make sure the verb suffix has it's meaning applied to the verb itself. If I can't get a good translation because of a suffix, I'll remove all of them and then slowly build it back up, making sure to apply the meaning to only the verb:

<vIchenqangqa'moHlaHchu'pu'>

<vIchen> - I build up it
<vIchenqang> - I am willing to build up it
<vIchenqangqa'> - I am willing to build it up again
<vIchenqangqa'moH> - I am willing to cause it to build up again / I am willing to make it again
<vIchenqangqa'moHlaH> - I am willing and I am able to cause it to build up again / I am willing and able to make it again
<vIchenqangqa'moHlaHchu'> - I am willing and I am able to clearly cause it to build up again / I am willing and able to clearly make it again
<vIchenqangqa'moHlaHchu'pu'> - I am willing and I am able to clearly cause it to have been built up again / I am willing and able to clearly have made it again
 
-neS is the one suffix that doesn't have an effect on the any part of the sentence, except to show reverence in some way. I see it as similar to the Japanese ultra-polite verb forms, which only effect politeness level but have no other meaning. I don't know of any European languages that have similar structures.
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chalvatlh
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« Reply #2 on: 05 16, 2011, 04:24: PM »

I think I mostly agree with you; that the verb suffixes function largely independently, rather than interacting in the way I suggested. However, I was thrown off because I found a contradictory example in TKD (p. 45): HeghqangmoHlu'pu' - it made here willing to die
[I should probably have mentioned this in the original post; the Fek'lhr strikes again.]
However, looking in TKD in the chapter about Type-2 verb suffixes, it says that these mark the subject's volition/disposition, so I'm thinking perhaps we should regard the example above as a mistake.

...or, since we* love retcons, we could say that you make an exception for indefinite/unknown/general subjects Wink

*By "we", I of course mean "I".

I think -choH and -moH complicate matters, though; TKD also includes several examples of -choHmoH being used with the -choH apparently being used to refer to the object rather than the subject: maghoSchoHmoHneS'a' {May we execute a course (to some place)?}, nuqDaq waqwIj vIlamHa'choHmoH {Where can I get my shoes cleaned?} and Du'IHchoHmoH mIvvam {The helmet suits you.}
If this is possible, it would seem likely that the same thing could happen also with -qa': vIchenqa'moH = "I (cause it to form) again" or "I cause (it to form again)"

I'm probably just nitpicking, though.
« Last Edit: 05 16, 2011, 04:54: PM by tesseraktik » Logged
QoghtlhIH'u'
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« Reply #3 on: 05 26, 2011, 08:28: AM »

Quote
HeghqangmoHlu'pu' - it made here willing to die
...
However, looking in TKD in the chapter about Type-2 verb suffixes, it says that these mark the subject's volition/disposition, so I'm thinking perhaps we should regard the example above as a mistake.

Because of the lu' suffix the subject seems to change into the object.
In this case a more elaborate translation would be: 

Something/someone made him/her/it willing to die.

One should not conclude that an example is a mistake because it does not fit your own understanding of the Klingon grammar at first glance.
If we go that way then there certainly will be several interpretations of what correct Klingon grammar is.

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chalvatlh
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In order to succeed, you must enjoy eating poison!


« Reply #4 on: 05 26, 2011, 10:28: AM »

Quote
HeghqangmoHlu'pu' - it made here willing to die
...
However, looking in TKD in the chapter about Type-2 verb suffixes, it says that these mark the subject's volition/disposition, so I'm thinking perhaps we should regard the example above as a mistake.

Because of the lu' suffix the subject seems to change into the object.
In this case a more elaborate translation would be:  

Something/someone made him/her/it willing to die.
That was my first interpretation, as well. However, the wording used in TKD strikes me as being quite explicit: -lu' does not turn subjects into objects or the other way around; it marks the subject as "unknown, indefinite and/or general".
Quote from: TKDp38
This suffix is used to indicate that the subject is unknown, indefinite, and/or general. Since the subject is always the same (that is, it is always unstated), the pronominal prefixes (section 4.1.1) are used in a different way.
...and according to p.36 of TKD, a Type-2 suffix marks the subject's volition/predisposition.
Of course, this could still be an unexplained exception.

One should not conclude that an example is a mistake because it does not fit your own understanding of the Klingon grammar at first glance.
If we go that way then there certainly will be several interpretations of what correct Klingon grammar is.
It's true that that conclusion should not be drawn hastily (and even if it is a mistake, retconning is always fun), but one should also not dismiss it.
...and having several interpretations isn't all that bad; it's why we can have conversations such as this one Wink
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