[tlhIngan Hol] time words and deixis

mayqel qunenoS mihkoun at gmail.com
Wed Nov 29 10:22:57 PST 2017

I'm not quite sure I understand the subject.

But if indeed I understand what we are trying to say, then why not use:

{loS maH ben jIbogh. ngugh..}
forty years ago I was born. then..


{loS maH ben jIbogh. qaSpa' wanI'vam..}
forty years ago I was born. before that event (i.e. my birth) happened..

~ nI'ghma

On Nov 29, 2017 19:35, "Ed Bailey" <bellerophon.modeler at gmail.com> wrote:

> 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
> phrasing.
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