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  5. "Gurlak died with honor."

"Gurlak died with honor."

Translation:batlh Hegh ghurlaq.

November 24, 2018



Apparently I'm still having trouble at times determining when to use quv or batlh, as when someone dies or acts with honor. I translated this one as quv Hegh ghurlaq, assuming he died with personal honor, which he had earned. (There was one other sentence in this lesson in which I used quv when I should have used batlh; I think it involved someone acting with honor; I'm not sure now.) Is there any easy way to explain the distinction in this case, at least?


batlh is an adverbial meaning with honor and a noun meaning abstract concept of honor. quv is a verb meaning be honored and a noun meaning concrete instance or accumulation of honor.

quv cannot act like an adverbial, so you can't say quv Hegh ghurlaq. Hegh means die, and it doesn't take an object — you can't die something, so you can't die honor.

The only way to say die with honor is batlh Hegh.


quvtaHvIS ghurlaq, Hegh.


Ah, because quv is a stative verb, it can't be used adverbially. I thought I remembered a discussion I had with mizinamo recently of there being an exception where it could be used adverbially, but in all probability, I am thinking of batlh.

I will study these; I'm sure it will all become clearer in time. Hoch Satlho'!


Only adverbials can be used adverbially. It's the stative verbs that can be used adjectivally.


Right, exactly. By definition, stative verbs are (generally) what we would call adjectives in English, but because there's no copula verb per se in Klingon, they become stative verbs. And stative verbs - like quv - cannot function as adverbs.

If it helps, this is the discussion I had in mind, of the special case in which batlh, a noun, can be used as an adverb.



I don't even call them "stative verbs," because other verbs describe states that aren't these verbs. I am more likely to call them "verbs of quality."

Anyway, the difference between verbs of quality and other verbs isn't that they're "adjectives"; it's that they have properties that other verbs don't: they can modify nouns (like adjectives), but they can also be used in comparative and superlative sentences.

But in normal usage, they just any old verbs.


Well, no, okay, they aren't strictly adjectives; it's just that many of the words we would normally consider to be adjectives in English function as stative verbs in Klingon. Klingon stative verbs can have many of the the same qualities you describe in other Earth languages, too, like Chinese. (Sometimes I wonder if Okrand pulled some of his influences for stative verbs from Mandarin; the comparative structure using law' and puS, to cite just one example, is quite similar). However, I completely see your point.

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