[tlhIngan Hol] A thought on the irrealis construction

Lieven levinius at gmx.de
Thu Nov 3 10:50:47 PDT 2016

Am 03.11.2016 um 15:34 schrieb mayqel qunenoS:
> 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".

I wanted to wait until after the qepHom, but as you mentioned this 
topic, here is what Maltz has revealed to us just now:

For a statement that's counterfactual (or "irrealis"), a phrase with the 
verb jal ("imagine, envision") is used: ... net jalchugh ("if one 
imagines that…", "if it is imagined that…"). For example:

tlhIngan SoH net jalchugh, qagh DatIv
This is "If you were a Klingon, you would enjoy gagh" or, literally,
"If one imagines that you are a Klingon, you would enjoy gagh."

The implication is that you are not a Klingon. Compare:

qaghwIj DaSopchugh, qaHoH
"If you eat my gagh, I'll kill you."
qaghwIj DaSop net jalchugh, qaHoH

"If you were eating my gagh, I would kill you"
(literally: "If one imagines that you are eating my gagh…").


Lieven L. Litaer
aka Quvar valer 'utlh
Grammarian of the KLI

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