DaHjaj Hol 110210 #tlhIngan #tlh

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Hello, and welcome. You’re listening to DaHjaj Hol, your daily dose of Klingon language. I’m your host, Lawrence Schoen.

Nothing makes a Thursday complete like learning a new suffix, and today I have a great one for you. It’s the verb suffix –be’. B, E, Apostrophe. –be’

-be’ is one of the special Type of suffixes which we call “Rovers” and as such it doesn’t have a Type number. -be’ can go after the verb, or after any other suffix, and it has the special meaning of negating what comes before it. So if you put -be’ after a verb, it adds a negative meaning to the verb. But if you put it after a suffix, it negates the meaning of the suffix. This is quite powerful, but it also can get quite confusing, particularly as you learn more suffix Types, which is why I’m introducing it to you now. Still, let’s look at a few simple sentences to show you how it works:

I kill you

I don’t kill you

I’m ready to kill you

I’m ready to not kill you

I’m not ready to kill you

See the different between those last two examples? In one, the negation applies to the root of the verb. In the other, the negation applies to the Type 2 suffix.

Think you’ve got it? Compare the following examples then for more negation fun:

I need to start fighting

I need to start not fighting

I don’t need to start fighting

I need to not start fighting

Right. It can get very confusing, very quickly. Which is as good a time to mention that just because Klingon allows us to build some very complex meanings by stacking multiple verb suffixes one after the other, it doesn’t mean we should. Our goal with language, particularly with Klingon, is to be understood, and we shouldn’t sacrifice this just because a particular grammatical effect is possible.

-be’ can be applied to any verb you know and to many suffixes. Start trying it out now. Get comfortable with it, because you’ll find we’ll be using it a lot as we go forward.

A person is able to do things and not do them. Now you can too. Languages can as well, open worlds, and not open them. All in all, I prefer the opening. qo’mey poSmoH Hol.


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