[tlhIngan Hol] The book of our good captain

De'vID de.vid.jonpin at gmail.com
Thu Jul 14 01:41:32 PDT 2016

On 13 July 2016 at 17:48, Lieven <levinius at gmx.de> wrote:
> This pins it down to what I wanted to say. Of course all of your given
> examples are correct, but they are not true QAO:

I think they are *exactly* QAO constructions. I think people are
confused and are (mistakenly) using the term "QAO" to refer to
constructions which *happen to be* QAO, but are problematic not in
themselves but only because they have been misinterpreted (i.e.,
mistranslated into English) as sentences with relative pronouns.

> "when do you want to drink?"
> is
> ghorgh [bItlhutlh DaneH]
> (a question word in front of a SAO)
> and not
> [ghorgh bItlhutlh] DaneH
> (a Question as object)
> The "when" refers to "you want to drink".
> It's not "you want that when do you drink?"

I disagree with this. Klingon grammar allows one sentence to be the
object of another. A question is still a type of sentence.

{bItlhutlh DaneH} "you want to drink"
{(ghorgh bItlhutlh) DaneH} "when do you want to drink?"; i.e., "you
want to drink; when does this drinking take place?"
{bItlhutlh (ghorgh DaneH}} "when do you want to drink?"; i.e., "you
want to drink; when does this wanting take place?"

The "when" does not refer to "you want to drink". If it did, the
question would be asking about when the act of "wanting to drink"
takes place, not when the act of "drinking" takes place.

I think the Klingon sentence is exactly "you want that when do you
drink?" That sounds unnatural in Klingon, but only because English
doesn't make it clear what the "when" applies to in a sentence with
multiple verbs, and Klingon does.


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