[tlhIngan Hol] time words and deixis

Ed Bailey bellerophon.modeler at gmail.com
Wed Nov 29 09:35:25 PST 2017

On Wed, Nov 29, 2017 at 11:36 AM, SuStel <sustel at trimboli.name> wrote:

> On 11/29/2017 11:26 AM, Ed Bailey wrote:
> Age is normally expressed as in the example {loSmaH ben jIboghpu'}, "I was
> born 40 years ago."
> http://klingonska.org/canon/search/?file=1996-12-12a-news.txt&q=age
> The English word "ago" tends to be always relative to the present. {ben}
> is glossed as "years ago" but is it necessarily relative to the present, or
> is it relative to the event being talked about?
> Say we want to use age to express when something happens, as in {qaSpu'
> wanI'vam loSmaH ben jIboghpu'DI'}. Does it say "This event happened when I
> was 40 years old (when I had been born 40 years previously)" or "This event
> happened when I was born forty years ago." Switching the dependency of the
> clauses, {qaSpu'DI' wanI'vam loSmaH ben jIboghpu'}, seems to have the
> desired effect on {ben}: "When this event happened, I had been born 40
> years ago (that is, I was 40)." But I can still conceive that it could be
> understood as "I was born 40 years ago when this event happened." Reversing
> the order of the clauses shouldn't have any effect in Klingon, but I would
> tend to interpret {loSmaH ben jIboghpu' qaSpu'DI' wanI'vam} as "I was born
> 40 years ago, when this event happened" instead of "I had been born 40
> years previously when this event happened."
> Are there relevant canon examples?
> I think the *ago* in *ben* and *Hu'* are always relative to the present
> of the speaker, but I have no evidence to back this up aside from the
> *ago* in their given translations. If you want to say something like *ten
> years before I was born,* but you don't want to give away your age and do
> the math yourself, you'll have to say something like *jIboghpa' qaSpu'
> wa'maH DIS; qaSpa' poHvam, blah blah blah...* This is really clumsy and I
> don't like it, but I can't think of a better way to do it. I tried to come
> up with something about *qaSpa' boghpu'ghachwIj wa'maH DIS vorgh,* but
> that doesn't sound right to me.
I had also been thinking of something like {qaStaHvIS yInwIj DIS
loSmaHDIch}, which would be okay I guess if a storytelling tone was
desired. This isn't useful for events before one's birth, though, which
your examples deal with.

Perhaps {ngugh loSmaH ben jIboghpu'}? But if {ben} is necessarily relative
to the present, this will just be nonsense. As far as the gloss goes, it
seems "ago" can be used relative to some other time than the present, as in
"at that time it had happened forty years ago." But it's not very elegant

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.kli.org/pipermail/tlhingan-hol-kli.org/attachments/20171129/16f25a4e/attachment-0002.htm>

More information about the tlhIngan-Hol mailing list