[tlhIngan Hol] Expressing "all of us"

Rhona Fenwick qeslagh at hotmail.com
Sun Jan 28 00:03:58 PST 2018


ghItlhpu' mayqel, jatlhpu':

> Sometime ago, I had asked of a way to say "all of us", as if in "all of us like cats".

(poD vay')

> {vIghro'mey DImuSHa' maH Hoch} ?
> all of us love cats

As others have pointed out, since the head of the phrase maH Hoch is still Hoch, it should condition third-person agreement.

With that said, I think that it should not be maH Hoch as nIqolay suggests, but Hoch maH. Hoch thus acts as a normal quantifier for its nominal (in this case, pronominal) head. For instance, we know Hoch nuvpu' is "all of the people", and we also know from paq'batlh that Hoch negh is "all of the soldiers" (paq'raD 11.21), and it's only a very small step to go from these to Hoch maH, which should take first-person plural agreement. We don't have any canon examples, but I feel it's a natural extension of the properties of both Hoch and pronouns as outlined in TKD 5.1. I don't think it's the least bit unnatural to say, for instance, targh DIparHa' 'op maH 'ach vIghro' DIparHa' Hoch maH "some of us like targs, but all of us like cats".

Whether we can leave out the free pronoun maH to give the same meaning is, of course, an entirely different kettle of qagh. Many pro-drop languages permit this: Georgian, Turkish, Finnish and Spanish, at least. But we can't in good conscience assume that Klingon also does this, not least because Klingon seems to be more rigid with its targets of agreement than many Earth languages are.


jangpu' SuStel, jatlh:
> The fierceness with which people desire a y'all in Klingon horrifies me. This is no different.


I disagree strongly. Not only are the conversational implicatures of speaking to a bunch of people versus speaking on behalf of a bunch of people quite different, but a vast array of human languages with rigidly defined number agreement are quite happy to allow plural pronouns of all sorts to be quantified. What's more, in Klingon there's nothing we know explicitly about either maH or Hoch that should in principle get in the way of our using them together should the situation call for it. The only problem we have is that we just don't have an explicit canon example illustrating how or whether Klingon quantifies pronouns, though I believe we have enough information about both quantifiers and free pronouns to be able to extrapolate (in the absence of a contradictory formal rule, at least).


Also, no less a speaker than Seqram consciously lampshaded the "all of us" question at the end of his article about Hoch more than two decades ago (HolQeD 5:2.11), so with all due respect (and I do have much respect for you), maybe ease up a bit on being horrified.


QeS 'utlh
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