[tlhIngan Hol] my own way

Lieven levinius at gmx.de
Mon Nov 20 05:37:10 PST 2017


The question was how to express a phrase like "my own ship" or "Every 
language has its own writing system"? Using a possessive suffix seems 
not to convey this meaning of indiduality. Here's the answer:

For the archive: this is printed in qepHom 2017, page 18.
Use the verb {tlhIn} "be particular, individual." (Note that 
"individual" in this definition does not mean simply "single, separate" 
but rather something like "be attributable to something or someone" or 
"be uniquely associated with something or someone.")

{DujwIj tlhIn} "my particular ship, my own ship"

{betleHlIj vIneHbe', betleHwIj tlhIn vIghaj}
"I don't want your bat'leth, I have my own bat'leth"

Even with this word, it gets confusing when third person is involved, 
since, as you point out, there could be two different third persons.

{DujDaj legh HoD} "The captain sees his/her ship." This could mean that 
the captain sees his/her own ship or sees somebody else's ship.

Adding {tlhIn} doesn't help: {DujDaj tlhIn legh HoD} could mean either 
"The captain sees his/her own ship" or else "The captain sees his/her 
particular ship" (when we know that, in this case, "his/her" refers to 
someone other than the captain).

This confusion arises, however, only when at least one of the third 
persons is referred to pronominally only. If nouns are used, the 
ambiguity goes away:

{jagh Duj tlhIn legh HoD} "The captain sees the enemy's own ship"

{HoD Duj tlhIn legh HoD} "The captain sees the captain's own ship"

Aha, you say, if there are two captains, it's still ambiguous. And you 
are correct, but it has nothing to do with "own." You'd have to 
distinguish them in the discourse anyway to avoid ambiguity.

{HoD qan Duj legh HoD Qup} "The young captain sees the old captain's ship"

{HoD qan Duj tlhIn legh HoD Qup} "The young captain sees the old 
captain's own ship"

{HoDlI' Duj legh HoDwI'} "My captain sees your captain's ship"

{HoDlI' Duj tlhIn legh HoDwI'} "My captain sees your captain's own ship"

When there's only one caption being talked about in the discussion, 
there's no ambiguity:

{DujDaj tlhIn legh HoD} "The captain sees his/her own ship"

This isn't ambiguous as long as in the discourse or conversation there 
only one captain and only one possible referent for "his/her."

That is, this lack of ambiguity is due to context, a consideration not 
possible with a single sentence in isolation.  If someone said, out of 
the blue (out of any context), {DujDaj tlhIn legh HoD}, this would be 
ambiguous. But except in language classes and things like that, people 
generally don't talk in individual sentences out of the blue.

PS: When asked about whether the word {qangtlhIn} is related, Okrand 
said: "No relationship that I know of. But I'm not a Klingon 
philosopher. Neither is Maltz. "

This information from #qepHom2017 will be added to the page "Message 
from Maltz" on qepHom.de:

Lieven L. Litaer
aka the "Klingon Teacher from Germany"

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