[tlhIngan Hol] Disturbing irregularities

De'vID de.vid.jonpin at gmail.com
Thu Jun 23 03:13:02 PDT 2016

On 23 June 2016 at 11:49, mayqel qunenoS <mihkoun at gmail.com> wrote:
> DevID:
>> the answer to {'Iv SoH} should take the form
>> {X SoH} (and not {X jIH}). {SoH 'Iv} avoids this problem.
> I can't understand this. Why when someone asks me {'Iv SoH}, I can't
> reply saying {mayqel jIH}, and be consistent with the TKD ?
> I would be placing the answer {mayqel} at the place of the {'Iv} and I
> would have replaced -necessarily- the {SoH}, with {jIH}. Is this
> replacement, the point you're trying to make ?

TKD 6.4 says:
[For {'Iv} "who?" and {nuq} "what?" the question word fits into the
sentence in the position that would be occupied by the

Strictly speaking, if you want to be some kind of TKD-literalist, to
form the answer to a question with {'Iv} or {nuq}, you take the
question and just replace the question word with the answer.

Obviously, if I ask you {'Iv SoH}, the correct answer isn't {mayqel SoH}.

> Do you mean, that by using {SoH 'Iv} and replying {mayqel jIH}, the
> replacement matter is overcome, because the answer doesn't just
> replace the {'Iv} of the {'Iv SoH} (if we had used it), but employs a
> different word order altogether ?

It employs a different _rule_ altogether.

> But if that's the case, then the {SoH 'Iv}, not only it doesn't
> address any matter at all, but it contradicts the rule that "the {'Iv}
> takes the place of the answer in a
> sentence", since the answer {mayqel jIH}, doesn't just replace the
> {'Iv} but changes the word order altogether.

No, you're not getting that there are _two different rules_ in operation here.

>From http://klingonska.org/canon/1996-12-12b-news.txt:
[Question words (in this case, nuq "what?") function the same way
pronouns do in questions with "to be" in the English translations.
Thus, the question yIH nuq? "What is a tribble?" is exactly parallel
the statement yIH 'oH "It is a tribble" (where yIH is "tribble" and
'oH is "it"). The answer to the question yIH nuq? ("What is a
tribble?") would presumably be a definition or description of a

When {'Iv} is used as a pronoun in a question with "to be" in the
English translation, the expected answer to a question like {SoH 'Iv}
is a definition or description of {SoH} "you".

You're trying to invent a rule that allows you to put the question
word either at the front or back of a question, when in fact there are
two _different_ rules for asking (subtly) different types of

{'Iv ghaH} - the expected answer to this is a sentence of the form {X
ghaH}, e.g., {Duy ghaH}.
{ghaH 'Iv} - the expected answer to this is a definition or
description of "him". {Duy ghaH} is an acceptable answer, but you
might also answer {qepvammo' DIvI'vaD SutlhmeH naDev ngeHpu' DIvI'} or
something that describes the person.

I suspect in practice the questions are really interchangeable and the
explanation in TKD 6.4 isn't so strictly followed when the pronoun is
{jIH}, {SoH}, etc. (i.e., a pronoun that requires a change in the

> This whole matter resembles quick sand ; the more I try to understand,
> the deeper I get..

What _practical_ thing are you actually confused about? Is there
something you want to say but don't know how?


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