From: Marc Okrand [email protected]
Newsgroups: startrek.klingon
Date: Mon, 2 Mar 1998 22:53:39 -0500
Subject: Re: -be', -Ha'

David Trimboli wrote ...
Qermaq wrote ...
par parHa' dislike like
naD naDHa' commend discommend
yuD yuDHa' dishonest honest

Dishonesty may be a default too. Odd that voq is "trust" though...

yep yepHa' careful careless

An idea: ALL of these, including voq, could be the "default," as Qermaq
suggests. Consider a battle (a fairly default Klingon activity). Liking
and being honest are not particularly important in battle. However,
trusting and being careful are. Whether or not this is the actual reason
for these alleged defaults, it shows that there might easily be a good
reason that voq defaults to what we consider a positive term.

(Note: disliking and being dishonest may equate with positive terms in
Klingon, thus their being "defaults.")


Learning about Klingon character or mindset by way of studying what Qermaq
terms "defaults" in vocabulary will probably lead to interesting insights.
I think both Qermaq and SuStel are on the right track: par "dislike," for
example, is probably the more neutral or expected reaction of a Klingon to
someone else; parHa' "like" (or, more revealingly, "not dislike" or
"undislike" or "misdislike" or even "disdislike" , since it's made up
of par "dislike" plus -Ha', the negative suffix implying that something
is undone or done wrongly) is a modification (an undoing?) of this expected

It may be that not everything has a default. Note, for example, QuchHa'
"be unhappy" and 'IQ "be sad." These two words don't mean quite the same
thing: QuchHa' is made up of Quch "be happy" plus the negative suffix
-Ha', suggesting a change from being happy to not being happy. 'IQ does
not have this connotation, nor does Quchbe' "be not happy" (or, if you
prefer, "not be happy"). Nevertheless, is the default in this pair Quch
"be happy" or is it 'IQ "be sad"?

On the other hand, when the only way to express a certain idea is by
modifying a word (for example, by adding a suffix) rather than using an
entirely different word, perhaps one can argue that the nonmodified word is
the default. Thus, the only (known) way to express the opposite of par
"dislike" is by adding a negative suffix to par. Unlike QuchHa' "be
unhappy" and 'IQ "be sad," there's no choice when it comes to "like";
you've got to use a word based on par: parHa'. It appears that the
only kind of "like" there is is the "undoing" or "misapplication" of
"dislike." (Of course, you could also say parbe' "like" or, more
literally, "not dislike," using the negative suffix -be' "not"; but
parbe' is also based on par. parHa' is heard more frequently than
parbe', however, and this may be a hint at the usual way a Klingon looks
at things.)

Interestingly (and bolstering the idea that "dislike" is a default),
there's also the word muS "hate" (which is presumably stronger somehow
than par "dislike"). It also has no known opposite except for the
suffixed forms: muSHa' "dis-hate" or "unhate"; muSbe' "not hate."