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  5. "yuQ wIbavpa', So'wI' yIchu'!"

"yuQ wIbavpa', So'wI' yIchu'!"

Translation:Before we orbit the planet, activate the cloaking device!

October 6, 2019

5 Comments


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

I'm surprised to see -wI' at the end of So'wI' ("cloaking device") here. Looking at other exercises it seems like So' means cloak, so I'm guessing that the wI' turns it into a tangible object? Is there any relationship to the suffix -wI' meaning "my" when referring to a noun that's capable of speech? Or is this an example of another use for wI', or just an oddball we should memorize?

Thanks so much as always!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Qov-jIH-je

You're right: the suffix -wI' turns a verb into a noun meaning one who is, one who does the state or action of the verb, just like the English suffix -er. It can refer to an object or a person, and be ambiguous, just like English, e.g. printer. Same pronunciation as the possessive noun suffix, but no apparent relation. There are a lot of syllables in Klingon with totally different meanings in noun vs. verb contexts.

There is at least one spot where -wI' turns up and doesn't fit the pattern: De'wI', computer. There is no known verb De' just the noun meaning data but a computer is a kind of thing that does something with data. That's the oddball one to just memorize.


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

Also jonwI' engineer, chamwI' technician, and DeghwI' helmsman, but no corresponding verbs.


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

Awesome, thank you!


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

To add a little extra for consideration:
So' "to cloak"
So'wI' "a cloaker"
So'wI'wI' "my cloaker (must be a being capable of using language"
So'wI'wIj "my cloaker (probably a device, or at least either not a being or not capable of language)"

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