[tlhIngan Hol] Using {'ar} without a noun

Steven Boozer sboozer at uchicago.edu
Wed Aug 22 07:50:16 PDT 2018

The "question word" 'ar in canon:

  nIn 'ar wIghaj
  How much fuel do we have left? [TKD  & CK]

  nIn 'ar ghaj
  How much fuel do we have (left)? [clipped] PK
  Huch 'ar DaneH?
  How much money do you want? TKD
  Haw'pu' yaS 'ar
  How many officers fled? TKD
  Dochvetlh DIlmeH Huch 'ar DaneH
  How much do you want for that? TKD
  mughoS 'avwI' 'ar
  How many guards are coming? CK
There is one example of 'ar used by itself as a simple one-word question - not as the subject or object of a verb - in "Conversational Klingon" (in the section about going out shopping you've checked into your hotel):

CK:  "As accommodating as it is, you will not want to spend all of your time in your [hotel] room. You might want to get out and go shopping. As you look into various stores you will soon discover that there is very little to buy except for food and weapons, and these for the most cannot be taken out of the Empire. If somehow you find something you are permitted to buy, such as food you can eat right away, you will need to know how to ask only one question:

How much?
One credit.
   wa' DeQ.
Buy or die!
   bIje'be'chugh vaj bIHegh.
Pay now!
  DaH yIDIl!

Adding the number suffix -logh changes things:
(st.klingon 2/1999):  'arlogh how many times? a word that functions adverbially, made up of the question word 'ar how much? How many? and the special number suffix -logh times (as in six times)

'arlogh Qoylu'pu'
How many times has (someone) heard (it)?
How many times has it been heard?
(i.e. What time is it?) [st.k 2/1999]
'arlogh wab Qoylu'pu'
How many times has someone heard the sound?
How many times has the sound been heard?
(i.e. What time is it?) [st.k 2/1999]
qen 'arlogh Qoylu'pu'?
Recently, how many times has someone heard it?
(i.e. What time is it?) [st.k 2/1999]

But this 'arlogh is an adverbial-like time stamp, not a subject or object of a verb.

If you want to ask "How tall are you all? or "How far is Kronos?" I suspect you have to specify the unit of measurement:  'uj 'ar bo'ab or qelI'qam 'ar Hop Qo'noS.

Ca'Non Master of the Klingons

From: SuStel
On 8/22/2018 9:37 AM, David Holt wrote:
The Klingon dictionary is clear that numbers "may stand alone as subjects or objects or they may modify another noun." It is an easy logical leap to treat {'ar} in the same way, but {'ar} is not a type of number and so that may not be allowed.  TKD says only that {'ar} "follows the noun to which it refers." Does anyone know if any canon which uses {'ar} as a stand alone subject or object? What do you think of that use of it and particularly if teaching that use of it?

The sentence that raised this question, by the way, is 'ar bo'ab, meant to mean How tall are you?

I would point out that only 'Iv and nuq (and, by extension of suffix, nuqDaq) act like pronouns, substituting for the answer. 'ar does not substitute itself for a number. This is clear not only because 'ar comes after the noun, not before, and constrains its use of a plural suffix, but because 'ar can be used on mass nouns where numbers cannot. You can ask nIn 'ar wIghaj How much fuel do we have? but you cannot say vagh nIn wIghaj We have five fuels.



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