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

SuStel sustel at trimboli.name
Wed Aug 22 08:08:55 PDT 2018

On 8/22/2018 10:41 AM, Lieven L. Litaer wrote:
> Am 22.08.2018 um 15:57 schrieb SuStel:
>> I would point out that only *'Iv* and *nuq* (and, by extension of 
>> suffix, *nuqDaq*) act like pronouns, substituting for the answer. 
> Who says "only"?
> This is again a situation where Okrand does not say "this is how it 
> works", but he does not say the opposite. Just because he did no 
> mention that {'ar} works like {nuq} does not mean that it does not.

Jesus Christ.

TKD presents a master list of question words, then it singles out *'Iv* 
and *nuq* and says they fit into the sentence in the position that would 
be occupied by the answer.

It then says *nuqDaq* is *nuq + -Daq* and says it goes at the beginning 
where any locative phrase would go.

Then it says *chay', ghorgh, *and*qatlh* go at the beginning too. 
*chay',* he adds, can be used as a standalone sentence.

Finally, it says, *'ar* follows the noun to which it refers, and that 
noun may not have a plural suffix on it.

Okrand was not being vague. He gives very clear instructions for how to 
use these words. He adds a new rule in /Conversational Klingon/ about 
*'ar* being used as a standalone like *chay',* and he adds a new word 
*'arlogh* later on. He also clarifies that the pronounness of *'Iv* and 
*nuq* extend to the ability to be verb-like when used as copulas. But he 
has never done anything to contradict these rules, and he has never done 
anything to suggest that *'ar* can act like a pronoun in the way *'Iv* 
and *nuq* can. He has the right to do so later, but he hasn't so far.

So forgive me if I condense all those paragraphs down to "only." BECAUSE 

I'll tell you what. I hereby declare that relative clauses don't require 
head nouns. And I have Okrand's own words to back me up. He says in a 
file on the Klingon Language Lab CD, *Dajatlhbogh vISovbe'*//and it's 
matched by another files that says /I don't know what you said./ After 
all, Okrand never said that relative clauses HAVE to have head nouns, 
right? So start accepting this phrase and the grammar behind it.

> This is just my opinion, but I think that {'ar Dalegh} is absolutely 
> correct. It even follows the rule if you think of a "zero"-noun:
> {[Doch] 'ar Dalegh}. "how many [things] do you see?"

What the hell is a zero-noun? That isn't a thing in Klingon.

>> *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./
> Don't forget it can be used on mass nouns, but also on countable things.

I haven't forgotten that. It's not relevant to the point.

> By the way, in English, the problem is the same: You can ask "How much 
> fuel do we have?" but you cannot say "We have five fuels" either.

Which should have been completely clear from my post, and which just 
further demonstrates the point. I had originally started my example with 
*bIQ 'ar,* but then I realized that someone was going to sniffle and say 
that you can talk about /five waters/ in English if you imagine them as 
bottles of water, so I went looking for something that didn't have that 
possibility in English.


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