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"Inebriation causes hangovers."

Translation:'uHmoH chechtaHghach.

July 11, 2018

9 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DavidTrimb3

I may have brought this up before, but I happened across the nominalization lesson and felt this needed to be addressed.

Most of the examples here are of -taHghach where the sentence actually has nothing to do with a nominalized action being continuous. This particular sentence is a clear example. In Inebriation causes hangovers, there is no sense in the English that hangovers are caused by ongoing inebriation, just inebriation in general. If you drink a bit and get drunk, this sentence says you'll end up with a hangover. (Whether or not that's true is not relevant here.)

The -taH is clearly being used as a placeholder because what the author really wants to say is chechghach, but he can't. He needs to add a suffix. That's not how -ghach works. The intervening suffix(es) is essential to the meaning.

For all the examples that use -taH but aren't actually talking about nominalization of ongoing actions, new sentences should replace them. Try using a wider variety of intervening suffixes. Especially useful are the perfective suffixes (completed action + -ghach = completed result of the action), the reflexive suffixes, and the predisposition suffixes. -moH also works nicely with -ghach (verb + -moHghach = the act of causing something to be or happen), as does -laH.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/loghaD

The -taH is clearly being used as a placeholder because what the author really wants to say is chechghach, but he can't.

As the author of this sentence, I can tell you that that's not what went into the translation at all; I very much did mean that an ongoing state of inebriation will result in a hangover, or that a past ongoing state of inebriation causes a hangover. You can dispute the accuracy of that claim, and it could perhaps be argued that 'uHmoH chechpu'ghach. would be more accurate (although I would dispute* this, as it is my understanding that the actual chemical processes that result in hangovers occur during the state of inebriation, even if the effect only becomes clear afterwards). However, I don't think there's any disagreement with regards to grammar.

chechchoHghach would make sense, although it would have to be an allowed translation rather than its own sentence, or as part of a later lesson, as chechtaHghach is defined as its own entry in this lesson.

*Edit: After some further thought, 'uHmoH chechpu'ghach. is starting to make sense to me; it is still the state of inebriation that causes the hangover, whether it is completed or not. I still prefer focusing on the inebriation while it's in progress, but I'll add 'uHmoH chechpu'ghach. as an accepted translation.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DavidTrimb3

My issue is not with whether the -taH reflects what chemically happens in the brain; it is that be inebriated is not any more continuous than be happy or be jealous. Inebriation is not a state that is more continuous than drunkenness; they are synonymous.

If we pretended for a moment that there was no prohibition on using -ghach on a verb with no other suffix, then you could say 'uHmoH chechghach and mean exactly what Inebriation causes hangovers means. Adding -taH does not reflect what's in the English. I might translate chechtaHghach as constant inebriation or continuing inebriation, not simple inebriation.

We can see this with other words. If we again forget that we can't put -ghach on a bare verb, then we could say:
Quch be happy
Quchghach happiness
QuchtaHghach continued happiness

But we can't say Quchghach, so if all you want is happiness, you have to find another tool; you can't just stick a -taH in there because QuchtaHghach means something specific that isn't just happiness.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/loghaD

I would agree that QuchtaHghach would not be an appropriate translation for "happiness" in general, though I would think ut appropriate for a state of being happy; an event which is/was/will be ongoing, but which [presumably] had or will have a beginning and end. I probably wouldn't describe myself as a happy person, but I am a person who sometimes experiences periods of happiness.

Likewise, with inebriation, a chechtaHghach is a continuous event. You can say something like wa'leS 'uHtaHghach qaSmoH DaHjaj chechtaHghach. ("Today's inebriation causes tomorrow's hangover.")


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DavidTrimb3

What you're suggesting is that (disallowed) Quchghach would mean the idea of happiness, while QuchtaHghach would be an actual state of happiness. In fact, what you're suggesting is that stative verbs in Klingon are only abstract concepts without an aspect attached.

I don't think that's how stative verbs work in Klingon. I can say jIQuch I am happy and mean that, right now, I am in a state of happiness. I would say jIQuchtaH to mean I am in a state of happiness that will continue, or I am still happy after a period of happiness. You don't use -taH (or other tool) to model the objective reality of the world; you use it to express a certain concept from a certain point of view. If I say wa'Hu' jIQuch, I mean that more or less throughout yesterday, I was in a state of happiness. I don't need a -taH there, even though there was no discontinuity in the happiness, because I'm not expressing the idea that the happiness extends beyond the boundaries of yesterday. If I wanted to express the idea that I was happy yesterday, and that happiness was an extension of happiness that was happening before yesterday, then I'd need -taH. But if yesterday I'd been happy from the time I woke up until the time I went to sleep, I could say wa'Hu' DungluQ jIQuchtaH to indicate that at noon yesterday I was still happy, even though I described the entire day as a unit without -taH. It's all about perspective and intention.

So while the state of chech isn't an instantaneous thing in objective reality, it doesn't require -taH to describe an actual instance of that state in a person. Using -taH indicates that the state is continuous beyond the boundaries of the time of the sentence. It was the state before the verb happens and it will be the state when the verb ends. That's what -taH means, and it means that in a word like chechtaHghach as well.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DavidTrimb3

I completely agree with your description of continuousness on states. I also agree with your analysis of mIl'oD vIleghDI' jIqettaH.

What I don't agree with is the idea that you need that -taH because you're describing "the actual process of state of something; not just the fact of it, nor the outcome of it, nor my propensity or ability to do it, but the action or state itself. "

When you're saying that inebriation causes hangovers, you're talking about the fact of inebriation, not the ongoing chemical process. The sentence is not explaining that the ongoing chemical processes of inebriation lead to hangovers; it is saying that the fact of your drunkenness is what leads to your hangover. There is no temporal structure to this sentence's concept of inebriation; the mere fact of inebriation is what it's talking about.

Now, if you were to construct a sentence that did talk about the ongoing chemical processes of drunkenness, I would wholeheartedly agree with that -taH. Maybe something like...

chechchoHlu'DI' tagh QoghIj choHmey. tugh chechHa'choHlu'chugh porgh luchurchoHmoHbe' choHvam. 'ach 'uHmoH chechtaHghach.

When one becomes drunk, changes begin in the brain. If the drunkenness soon goes away, these changes not make the body uncomfortable. But continued inebriation causes hangovers.

But the course sentence isn't talking like this. According to the English, it's simply trying to say chech causes 'uH. There's no continuousness in that. Either the -taH needs to be removed (in which case you have no sentence) or the English needs to be changed to reflect that it's not just inebriation you're talking about, but ongoing inebriation.

Overall, I'm very impressed with the quality of the -ghach section of the course. There are some excellent uses here that are easy to understand and remove some of the apprehension of -ghach that Klingonists (wrongly) like to instill in new students. It's just the -taH examples that are indistinguishable from what the word would mean if we could leave out the -taH that I have an issue with.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DavidTrimb3

Yes, exactly. The Klingon sentence means something perfectly valid; it just doesn't mean what the English says it means.

To tweak the English, you could refer to chechtaHghach as something like prolonged inebriation, continued inebriation, or extended inebriation.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/loghaD

What you're suggesting is that (disallowed) Quchghach would mean the idea of happiness, while QuchtaHghach would be an actual state of happiness. In fact, what you're suggesting is that stative verbs in Klingon are only abstract concepts without an aspect attached.

I wouldn't go that far; Quch describes something quite real, not just a broad concept. jIQuch. would most commonly be interpreted as "I am in a state of happiness (as we speak)." or "I was/will be in a state of happiness (at the point in time we are describing).", but you're not really providing the statement with any temporal structure; that's all being left up to the listener (presumably because it's not really important to the narrative).

If I tell you jIQuchtaH., it's as if I'm throwing you into the middle of the story; I want you to let you know in no uncertain terms that at the time this story is taking place, I was mid-happiness. That happiness may have lasted anywhere from a few seconds to a whole lifetime, but you can certainly define a finite value of Δt such that my happiness spanned the period (t₀ - Δt, t₀ + Δt).

Perhaps a slightly clearer example would be one that involves running:

mIl'oD vIleghDI', jIqettaH.

I'm not saying that I started running when I saw the sabre-bear; I'm not that big of a coward.

...but I didn't stop running either; I don't have a death wish.

I was running before I saw it, and then I kept on running for at least a while longer.

Similarly, when using -taHghach, I'm describing the actual process of state of something; not just the fact of it, nor the outcome of it, nor my propensity or ability to do it, but the action or state itself. chechtaHghach is what happens while you are drunk. While in this state, your body chemistry is knocked out of whack and you make poor dietary decisions. As a result of this process, a new process called 'uHtaHghach occurs the next day.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/loghaD

First of all, thank you for your kind words about this lesson. It was definitely one that we struggled with; it's fairly easy to come up with cases where -ghach is useful in Klingon, but the result usually makes for some very unnatural English sentences, which isn't all that well-suited for Duolingo.

But the course sentence isn't talking like this. According to the English, it's simply trying to say chech causes 'uH. There's no continuousness in that. Either the -taH needs to be removed (in which case you have no sentence) or the English needs to be changed to reflect that it's not just inebriation you're talking about, but ongoing inebriation.

Ah, interesting. So, you don't think the Klingon sentence is necessarily saying something that is either untrue or ungrammatical, but rather that it doesn't match the English? The Klingon treats inebriation as an ongoing process, while the English views it more as a whole?

Ideally, in that case, I'd like to see if we can come up with a natural-sounding English sentence that better captures its meaning. That being said, I see we do have four sentences for chechtaHghach, meaning that this one could be removed if that's not possible.

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