[tlhIngan Hol] then/now and law'/puS

Steven Boozer sboozer at uchicago.edu
Mon Aug 29 13:35:53 PDT 2016

mayqel qunenoS <mihkoun at gmail.com> wrote:
>> I'm almost certain you'll tell me no, but because as the greek proverb
>> goes "hope dies last", I'll ask anyway.  Can I say
>>   {ngugh jIQup law' DaH jIQup puS} ?
> Nope, that's not correct. You're close, though. I'll show you how to fix
> it, and how to slightly redo the time references so they follow the rules.
> In the comparative construction A Q law' B Q puS, the A and B noun slots
> can be filled by pronouns. 

For those who want chapter and verse, Okrand once told members of the Klingon Shakespeare Restoration Project (KSRP) that pronouns (being a subset of nouns) could indeed be used with qualities in a comparison. Thus, {SoH po' law' jIH po' puS} is correct. (Cf. HQ 4.2 p.3) 

>                     Instead of the ungrammatical phrasing {jIQup
> law'/puS}, make it {jIH Qup law'/puS}.

And the Q slot is always an *unconjugated* verb, or un-affixed" if you prefer.  In effect, "A is more Q ("Q-ier"?) than B".
> We don't have good guidance on how to add adverbial and timestamp words
> inside the comparison. We do have examples of preceding the entire
> comparison with normal contextual words and phrases, 

Some more examples of using introductory phrases in the {A Q law' B Q puS} formula (marked off with <angle brackets>):

  <jonlu'meH> wo'maj pop tIn law' Hoch tIn puS 
  Our Empire's highest bounty has been placed on his head. (ST5 notes)

  <reH latlh qabDaq> qul tuj law' Hoch tuj puS 
  The fire is always hotter on someone else's face. PK

  <qIbDaq SuvwI''e'> SoH Dun law' Hoch Dun puS 
  You would be the greatest warrior in the galaxy. ST5

  <tlhutlhmeH> HIq ngeb qaq law' bIQ qaq puS 
  Drinking fake ale is better than drinking water. TKW

  <noH ghoblu'DI'> yay quv law' Hoch quv puS 
  In war there is nothing more honorable than victory. TKW

  <tlhIngan wo' yuQmey chovlu'chugh> Qo'noS potlh law' Hoch potlh puS 
  The principal planet of the Klingon Empire, Qo'noS... S27

  <cha' DISmo'> jIH qan law' SoH qan puS 
  I'm two years older than you. (Lieven < Okrand, 7/25/2016)

  <cha' 'ujmo'> jIH woch law' SoH woch puS 
  I'm two 'ujes taller than you. (Lieven < Okrand, 7/25/2016)

In other words, first set the context then make your comparison.

> so try this:
>    {ngugh jIH Qup law' DaHjaj jIH Qup puS} 
>    "At that time, I was younger than the me of today."
> {ngugh} "at that time" precedes the rest of the sentence as an adverbial.
> {jIH} "I, me" fills the A noun slot
> {Qup} "be young" is the Q verb of quality {DaHjaj jIH} "today's me" or
> "the me of today" fills the B noun slot

I'm not sure how this would be better than a simple:

  ngugh jIQup.
  At that time (Then) I was young(er).

"Then" being an implied contrast with "now" - i.e. younger - unless you age in reverse.  (Of course, being Trek, that's always a possibility!)

FYI two more new examples:

  jIH qan law' SoH qan puS 
  I'm older than you. (Lieven < Okrand, 7/25/2016)

  jIH Qup law' SoH Qup puS 
  I'm younger than you. (Lieven < Okrand, 7/25/2016)

For homework, figure out how this complicate comparison works:

  DujvamDaq tlhIngan nuH tu'lu'bogh pov law' Hoch pov puS
   'ej DujvamDaq 'op SuvwI' tu'lu'bogh po' law' tlhIngan yo'
    SuvwI' law' po' puS 
  It [IKC Pagh] has the best weapons and some of the finest
    warriors in the Klingon fleet. (SkyBox S7)

tlhIngan ghantoH pIn'a'
Ca'Non Master of the Klingons

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