[tlhIngan Hol] time words and deixis

nIqolay Q niqolay0 at gmail.com
Wed Nov 29 11:16:33 PST 2017

Lieven asked Okrand about this at qepHom'a' 2016, and posted about it to
the mailing list, although I'm not sure he got around to posting it to
qephom.de or anywhere.


So "this event happened when I was forty" would be *qaStaHvIS DISwIj

On Wed, Nov 29, 2017 at 11:26 AM, Ed Bailey <bellerophon.modeler at gmail.com>

> 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?
> ~mIp'av
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