[tlhIngan Hol] What is a sentence?
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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