[tlhIngan Hol] A thought on the irrealis construction

SuStel sustel at trimboli.name
Thu Nov 3 08:10:02 PDT 2016

On 11/3/2016 10:34 AM, mayqel qunenoS wrote:
> I remember having discussed here, that klingon doesn't possess the 
> grammar to say "if klingon possessed an irrealis suffix, then I 
> wouldn't be writing this post".
> So far so good..
> I've been trying to find a way to overcome this problem

While Klingon does not possess any formal irrealis grammar like a 
subjunctive mood, it can still express irrealis nonetheless.

*bIje'be'chugh vaj bIHegh
*/if you do not buy then you will die/

Klingon employs no special grammar for the irrealis of /you will die,/ a 
statement which is not a prediction of definite future events but 
describes what will happen /only if/ you fail to buy. Even in English no 
special irrealis is used in the /you will die/ part.

> if I possessed foresight, I would have known my dog is stupid

*QIp */dog/*wIj 'e' vISov, **leSSov vIghajchugh *

Without using any special grammar, but employing context, this statement 
is already an expression of irrealis.

/paq'batlh/ has a couple of examples. Here's one:

*jIlay'DI' reH batlh jIpabchugh
    Qapla'meywIj Hoch vIta'ta' 'e' DaHar'a'
*/Did you think that my word of honor
    Would have carried me this far?/

Also note that the word /irrealis/ means anything that states something 
other than actually is. *taHjaj wo'*/long live the Empire!/ is an 
irrealis, for instance, as it is making a wish for something, not 
stating something that is. *-jaj* is a suffix which specifically 
introduces this kind of irrealis. *-chugh* introduces a conditional 

So whenever in English you find yourself saying "would have," just use a 
normal indicative-mood sentence, but give it enough context to make it 
clear that you are being hypothetical.

*Saleghchugh SaQoypa', Sagho', */orc/ *mach tlhIH 'e' vIHarmo', 'ej 
jIQaghpu' pIq 'e' vItu'.*


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