[tlhIngan Hol] The book of our good captain

De'vID de.vid.jonpin at gmail.com
Fri Jul 15 01:08:55 PDT 2016

On 14 July 2016 at 14:00, DloraH <seruq at bellsouth.net> wrote:
> On Thu, 2016-07-14 at 11:31 +0200, De'vID wrote:
>> Note the quotes around the word "question". If Okrand had really been
>> asked straightforwardly whether a question (any sort of question) can
>> be the object of a sentence, I'd have expected the report to say "You
>> can not use a question as an object" without the quotes. To me, it
>> reads like the questioner was confused about terminology and was using
>> the word "question" (in quotes) to mean "sentences where question
>> words are misused as relative pronouns".
> No, those quotes were not from confusion about the word "question".
> In plain-text, there is only so much that one can do to express things.
> We can't bold, can't italicize, you can't see my face or hands.  I used
> quotes to emphasis that I was talking about an actual question.
> Back then, there was much arguing on this list about QAO.  At that
> convention I even started my question with "Much blood has been
> spilled..."  I believe I even heard someone mutter "Uh-oh", and the look
> on some of the faces, I think they knew what was coming.
> MO said we cannot ask a question in a QAO.  I think someone put out an
> example, and MO said he couldn't figure out what it would actually mean.
> And for the relative pronoun, at the time, MO wasn't sure if Klingon had
> that, or if it did, would they be the same words, the way English uses
> the same words for both.

I guess I'll just have to go back and try to understand what the
controversy was from the archives. I can't imagine what would be
controversial about a sentence like {nuq Datlhutlh DaneH}. OTOH, one
can certainly construct QAO sentences which are meaningless, like
*{HIq Datlhutlh'a' DaneH}, and which I can understand would be

It's also fairly easy for an English speaker to misinterpret a QAO
construction as a sentence with a relative pronoun, e.g., misinterpret
{chay' DaHoH 'e' vISov} as "I know how you killed him". And perhaps
attaching the {chay'} to {DaHoH} makes for something hard to
understand, and it's easier to parse this sentence to mean "how do I
know you killed him", which would be clearer as {DaHoH chay' 'e'
vISov}. I can see a case here for banning {qatlh} and {chay'} from the
first sentence of a SAO. But I can't see any reason why substituting a
noun for {nuq} or {'Iv} in the first sentence of a SAO would cause any

That is, I can see problems with some QAOs, but not all of them. It
seems that the community wanted a binary answer (all or nothing) and
got one.

Since the qep'a' is less than a week away, maybe y'all can shed more
blood about this with Dr. Okrand.

>> The suggestion to recast, as I read it, applies only to sentences
>> where an attempt is being made to use question words as relative
>> pronouns.
> The "recast" meant if you find yourself here, recast.  For both
> questions and pronouns.
> We know about using [ngu'].  "Which weapon do you want?" [nuH DaneHbogh
> yIngu']  The English is a question, but the Klingon is a command.

How would you recast a question like {'Iv wISuv 'e' ra' HoD}?


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