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  5. "Don't be noisy! Daddy and Mo…

"Don't be noisy! Daddy and Mommy are sleeping!"

Translation:pechuS'eghmoHQo'! QongtaH vavoy SoSoy je!

April 20, 2018



what does chuS mean that the sense requires either -'egh or -moH?


chuS is "be noisy".

In the command form, though, such adjective-like verbs (verbs that describe a state of being, rather than an action) require -'eghmoH -- so it is literally "Don't cause yourselves to be noisy!"

I've added a note on this to the tips and notes for the "Imperative" and "Cause" units.


In theory. In practice, I don't recall seeing this on anything other than taD.


Perhaps because this rule is hidden in a little comment in KGT, so it might not be as well-known.

But the rule does say that

Generally, when a verb describing a state of being (for example, tuj "be hot") is used, the suffixes -'egh (reflexive suffix) and -moH ("cause") are used as well: yItuj'eghmoH ("Heat yourself! -- that is, "Cause yourself to be hot!").

so while the example uses taD, it seems to be more generally applicable.

I note that it does use the hedge "generally" rather than saying this is an absolute must -- quite possible, the exact rules governing when Klingons do and do not use this construction are not yet completely understood.

For consistency, I suppose it's better if the course does follow this "generally".

What would you advise?


yItamchoH! Er, I mean, yItam'eghchoHmoH!

(Well, I guess it should be petamchoH since the original sentence was pechuS'eghmoHQo', but yItamchoH is literally in The Klingon Dictionary.)


Well' I suppose that the recommendation is for when you want to require the receiver of the order to change state/behaviour him/herself. But you can use the same verb with a different object, can't you?

That is you could say pa' yItujmoH! if you want the room to be heated.


Yes, that's right. You only need the -'egh when you are commanding them, themselves, to be that quality.


I would argue that the -'eghmoH in pechuS'eghmoHQo' is redundant and that pechuSQo' is not only correct but preferred.

The explanation for requiring pechuS'eghmoHQo' (already commented on above) is that stative verbs (those describing a state or quality) cannot be used as bare imperatives, and instead require -'eghmoH. That reading is based on the remark in KGT on the idiom yItaD/petaD for "freeze". However, I've always read that remark as a descriptive semantic rule rather than a prescriptive grammar rule.

It makes no sense to say yIrun! or yIDoq! One cannot simply be short or be red as an act of will. In such cases, the -'eghmoH is clearly necessary. But one certainly can be noisy or be quiet or be still as an act of will. The -'eghmoH is unnecessary and adds unnecessary complexity to the imperative. Can one also be angry or happy or sad? Possibly; it's hard to say without canon examples.

Klingon does have special rules for stative verbs: they can follow a noun and act as modifier for that noun, and they generally require -'eghmoH as imperatives. However, I think the error here is in asserting that Klingon treats the stative/active distinction as a hard grammatical property assigned to the verb itself, like the conjugation to which a Latin verb belongs. Further, there seems to be an assumption that any verb with a definition of "be X" is stative and all the rest are active.

We simply don't have enough evidence to say that Klingon categorizes verbs this way. I think it much more likely that the distinction is semantic. I also think that we need to be a little more careful with how much we read into the specific wording in the definitions in TKD et al. They're written for brevity, not precision.

As for chuS - "be noisy", I suspect it could also be defined as "make noise" or "be noisy; make noise". I don't have any problem putting it after a noun, as in puq chuS vIQoy - I hear the noisy child, but I also don't have any problem with yIchuSQo' - don't be noisy.

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