[tlhIngan Hol] What is a sentence?

SuStel sustel at trimboli.name
Fri Jun 9 11:22:33 PDT 2017

I was thinking back to a previous argument about whether a 
sentence-as-object construction can itself be considered a "sentence" 
for when a rule in Klingon works on sentences. I went through some old 
text by Okrand and found this message:

    (1) You suggested translating "Do you think it's possible for a
    Klingon to feel love for a Ferengi?" as:
    verenganvaD bang HotmeH tlhIngan qIt 'e' DaQub'a'?
    The end of the sentence is fine.  The correct way to say "Do you
    think that...?" is ... 'e' DaQub'a'? ('e' is "that," referring to
    something that precedes it in the sentence or in the discussion;
    DaQub'a' is "do you think it?").


*'e' DaQub'a'* is here referred to by Okrand as "the end of the 
sentence," and *'e'* refers to "something that precedes it in the 
sentence or in the discussion." We know *'e'* refers to the previous 
"sentence" of the construction, so the "sentence" that Okrand is 
referring to must be the entire construction. Okrand later refers to the 
entire construction as a sentence again.

In another post, Okrand gave the sentence *tlhIngan Hol Dajatlh 'e' 
vISIv* /I wonder if you speak Klingon./ He goes on to say

    In English, this means something like "I'm surprised that you speak
    Klingon" or "I don't understand how it can be that you speak
    Klingon," but this is not what the Klingon sentence means.  The
    Klingon sentence means something more like "I am curious about
    whether you speak Klingon."


Again, he has called the entire thing a sentence. He then refers to 
"such sentences": "One other verb that can be used in the V slot in such 
sentences is Hon 'doubt'" (the "V slot" is the second sentence). Then he 
goes whole hog and talks about sentences within sentences: "I'll return 
on another occasion to the question of whether the sentence preceding 
the 'e' in such sentences can be a question."

I haven't done a complete search, but I feel pretty confident that we 
can think of SAOs as sentences. They are "complex sentences," as named 
in the parent section of SAOs in TKD. Exactly how complicated the second 
sub-sentence is supposed to be and the exact placement of adverbials and 
dependent clauses might still be imperfectly resolved, of course.


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