[tlhIngan Hol] What is a sentence?

qurgh lungqIj qurgh at wizage.net
Fri Jun 9 11:45:07 PDT 2017

It seems that Okrand switches back and forth on this one. In TKD he clearly
defines them as two sentences and repeats that convention multiple times
throughout that section:

"Klingon has two special pronouns, 'e' and net, which refer to the *previous
sentence* as a whole"

"What is a single sentence in English is often* two sentences* in Klingon."

"This sentence is actually* two*:"

"The pronoun 'e' refers to the *previous sentence*, We kill prisoners."

"The* two sentences* here are:"

"The past tense of the translation (I saw...) comes from the verb in the*
first sentence*"

"When the verb of the *second sentence*"

"the* first sentence* here is qama'pu' DIHoH"

"The *second sentence* is net Sov"

"When the verb of the *second sentence* is neH"

Maybe it's a "complex sentence" made of "two sentences", so ultimately both
points of view would be true. I can try to remember to ask Okrand about
this at the qep'a'.


On Fri, Jun 9, 2017 at 2:22 PM, SuStel <sustel at trimboli.name> wrote:

> 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?").
> http://klingonska.org/canon/search/?file=1996-12-12b-news.txt&q=sentence
> *'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."
> http://klingonska.org/canon/search/?file=1997-07-01-news.txt&q=sentence
> 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.
> --
> SuStelhttp://trimboli.name
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