[tlhIngan Hol] Type 9-ed verb as SAO

Hugh Son puqloD Hugh at qeylIS.net
Sun Dec 1 10:24:00 PST 2019


>> On Nov 30, 2019, at 22:40, Will Martin <willmartin2 at mac.com> wrote:
> SAO stands for “Sentence As Object”.
> 
> Your examples use verbs with Type 9 suffix. These are not sentences. They are dependent clauses; sentence fragments.

Right, TKD describes the SAO pronouns as taking sentences as objects, and gives several examples where the pronoun replaces a whole sentence. And of course type 9-ed verbs (discounting {-'a'} and {-jaj}) don’t form full sentences on their own. That’s the whole point of the question. I somewhat doubt it’s possible, but I became curious about it because I used this construction by accident in a sentence {bIvemDI' 'e' Sovchu'} in a submission to the issue of 'eSrIv that should be landing shortly, realizing much later that the sentence is almost certainly ungrammatical. However, absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, so I’m keeping an open mind.

> Most of the time, your translations include self-invented, unstated echoes of the verb, as if it had been stated, but Klingon grammar doesn’t work like that.

We don’t *know* Klingon grammar to work like that. I don’t know of any examples where {'e'} or {net} take a floating dependent clause as an object, but that could just be because it hasn’t happened. There could be a canon example out there that does use this construction, although I doubt it.

The weirdest canon usage of an SAO pronoun that I know of is 'a'Setbur’s line {'e' neHbe' vavoy} from TUC. It’s remarkable because:

* {'e'} is used as the object of {neH}, which typically doesn’t happen. In this case, that’s probably because:
* {'e'} refers to a sentence that *somebody else* spoke. That sentence was:
* {QamvIS Hegh qaq law' torvIS yIn qaq puS}

Ignoring the oddity of {-vIS} being used without {-taH}, in direct defiance of the grammar described in TKD, {'e'} here seems to be replacing a comparative sentence, at least according to the rules laid out in TKD. But that doesn’t seem to be the whole story. If it were as simple as “{'e'} … refer[s] to the previous sentence as a whole”, then she’s saying that {ghorqan Qang} didn’t want a death while standing to be preferable to a life while kneeling, which doesn’t really make sense. From context, it seems that {'e'} here is really referring to just the {QamvIS Hegh} part, which isn’t a full sentence. So even if we don’t have a canonical instance of something like {bIpawDI' 'e' lutu'}, it does seem that what’s written in TKD isn’t the end of the story when it comes to SAO pronouns.

I could easily imagine a conversation where somebody interrupts another speaker who has started a sentence and uses {'e'} to replace the spoken part of the interrupted sentence, e.g.:

- manIDchugh…
- 'e' vIneHbe'!

Even if the first speaker were allowed to finish the sentence, I could see situations where the {'e'} doesn’t refer to the grammatically independent clause:

- manIDchugh, maQapbej!
- 'e' vIneHbe'!

Sure, grammatically, speaker two should have said something like {manID vIneHbe'}, but if we assume that {'e'} can be the object of {neH} when referring to a sentence somebody else has spoken, then does speaker two really not want to succeed?


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