[tlhIngan Hol] Relevance of language ability to third person singular pronouns

Daniel Dadap daniel at dadap.net
Mon Sep 10 13:13:41 PDT 2018



> On Sep 10, 2018, at 11:09, Lawrence M. Schoen <klingonguy at gmail.com> wrote:
> 
> 
> 
>> On Mon, Sep 10, 2018 at 11:50 AM David Holt <kenjutsuka at live.com> wrote:
>> 
>> Right you are!  I had this filed in my brain as a discussion of how to determine what is "language using" and what is "not language using", but Okrand is also clearly indicating that the difference between {'oH} and {ghaH} is the abillity to communicate and not whether or not it is animate.
>> 
> 
> Not to put too fine a point on it, but Okrand is actually indicating that the difference is a function of whether the speaker BELIEVES the other party can communicate. 
> 
> Now, with that in mind, we can move the argument to whether "communicate" is the same as "uses language." Because based on the qurgh's statement, when I talk to my targ, we're communicating, and thus he merits {ghaH} and not {'oH}. No disrespect to my targ, but I'm not changing his pronoun based on this.
> 

Indeed, the distinction between “communicate” and “use language”, if any, is an interesting one. Furthermore, does that mean that {bIH}/{chaH} is really about ability to communicate (not necessarily using language)? Can the speaker decide, based on his or her own judgement, whether to apply the language-capable possessive suffixes to a being that  the speaker believes to be capable of (potentially non-linguistic) communication?

QumlaHbej targhwI', 'a QumDI' Hol lo'be' ghaH.

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