Beginners Questions

Questions About Grammar

Questions About Vocabulary

Why thlIngan Hol?

Why is the language called tlhIngan Hol with tlhIngan in the singular? I would have expected something like tlhInganpu' Hol with the plural?

Answer

There are two reasonable explanations. First, explicit marking of plurals in Klingon is optional. A noun lacking a plural suffix can still refer to more than one thing. Second, the phrase tlhIngan Hol isn't exactly a possessive. The word tlhIngan is more appropriately thought of as an "attributive noun", specifying the kind of Hol being mentioned. We have the same sort of usage with romuluS HIq Romulan ale and 'orghen rojmab Organian peace treaty. In neither case is the second noun literally owned by the first one.

What does the suffix -tay' mean?

The postal course on KLI's web site use mu'tay' for vocabulary. I guess it's based on mu', word, with a suffix, -tay', that isn't explained in the course. Does it have a collective sense, so that mu'tay' means "all words"?

Answer

The postal course uses mu'tay' because that's the word for vocabulary given in TKD. Your guess is incorrect, because -tay' is not a suffix. If we try to analyze the etymology of the noun mu'tay', we can speculate that the second syllable is related to the verb tay' be together, and that vocabulary is derived from [the collection of] words all taken together.

Meanwhile, Marc Okrand has repeatedly stated that you can not look at a compound noun and make assumptions about any independent use or meaning of its componant parts. The word mu'tay' is the word mu'tay'. It is not the combination of the word mu' and the word tay', just as the English word understand has nothing to do with standing under anything.

 
Category: General    Latest edit: 17 Aug 2018, by FrenchTranslator    Created: 07 Mar 2014 by KlingonTeacher
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