[tlhIngan Hol] The prefix trick and indefinite subjects

Daniel Dadap daniel at dadap.net
Sat Dec 22 20:58:02 PST 2018

> On Dec 22, 2018, at 7:56 PM, SuStel <sustel at trimboli.name> wrote:
> On 12/22/2018 9:01 PM, Daniel Dadap wrote:
>> The original thing I was asking about was part of a relative clause so I wanted to simplify the example but I guess I made it too simple and omitted an actual indirect object which was the point of the prefix trick. The clause was “Sep vIDellu'bogh” which I used in the sentence:
>> pa' Sep'e' jInajtaHvIS vIDellu'bogh tu'lu'
>> Over there there is a region that was described to me while I was dreaming
>> (There are probably other problems with this sentence; I wasn’t sure where to place the jInajtaHvIS, for example, which is also why I wanted to simplify the example.)
> Yes, the jInajtaHvIS makes it way too complicated... probably even without considering the prefix trick. It might make grammatical sense with the jInajtaHvIS between the pa' and Sep'e' or after the vIDellu'bogh, but at this point I'd be worried about the listener's ability to parse the nested clauses.
> If we drop the dreaming bit for now, and show the sentence without the prefix trick, we have
> pa' jIHvaD Sep Dellu'pu'bogh tu'lu'
> The region which was described to me is thereabouts.
> (Notice that the -pu' is required; the describing is already done.)

I know the dreaming part has been removed for simplicity here, but can the frame of reference not be the dream? In the context of the dream, if you’re thinking of the -taHvIS part, the describing isn’t necessarily completed.

I suppose -pu’ captures the “once” meaning from the original sentence I was aiming for: “there’s a land that I dreamed of once in a lullaby”.

> I don't see why the prefix trick wouldn't work here, again with the caveat that we've never seen the prefix trick on a verb with an indefinite subject:
> pa' Sep vIDellu'pu'bogh tu'lu'
> The region which was described to me is thereabouts.
> If I had to put the dreaming back in, and if I had to keep it all in one sentence, I'd probably do it like this:
> pa' Sep vIDellu'pu'bogh jInajtaHvIS tu'lu'
> The region which was described to me while I was dreaming is thereabouts.

Yeah, two sentences would obviously have been easier. My two sentence version of this was: “jInajtaHvIS Sep vIDellu’; pa’ Sepvam tu’lu’.”

Good to know that the jInajtaHvIS can go after the -boghed verb. I think "pa’ Sep vIDellu’pu’bogh jInajtaHvIS tu’lu’" was actually exactly my first draft of that sentence, but then I was worried that the jInajtaHvIS was a time stamp, and had to go at the beginning, but if it came at the very beginning of the sentence, it might make it sound like the observation of the region (since tu’ is the actual main verb of the sentence) is what happened during the dream, and not the describing. Then at around the same time I started worrying about whether the prefix trick would work with -lu’. I went with topic-marking the Sep and then putting jInajtaHvIS after Sep’e’ because there’s a rule that lets you move time stamps after a topicalized object. (I’m traveling for the holidays and didn’t bring any Klingon books with me, but I’m pretty sure it’s in TKDa.) It also made the jInajtaHvIS seem more obviously like it was talking about the Del and not the tu’. And on second thought, I could see a reading of “pa’ Sep vIDellu’pu’bogh jInajtaHvIS tu’lu’” where the tu’lu’ is what happens during the jInajtaHvIS.

Anyway, if a -taHvISed verb isn’t a time stamp, that’s good to know. And I guess it isn’t, because when you add an object, something like “jIHaghqu'taH paqvetlh vIlaDtaHvIS” doesn’t sound wrong.
>> I went with “muDelbogh vay'” since it didn’t affect syllable count or the rhyme at the end of the line (rhyming with “jenqu'” in the previous line) and the meter actually worked out better too that way.
> I'm not going to mess with meter or rhyme.
> -- 
> SuStel
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