[tlhIngan Hol] Using -ta' during -taHvIS

Will Martin willmartin2 at mac.com
Wed Feb 27 07:46:30 PST 2019

Just to add the historical background, this rule (no Type 7 suffix on second verb of SAO) exists because of a subtitle for a spoken Klingon line that Okrand clearly would have preferred to have put a perfective suffix on the second verb, but his hand was forced. The scene had been shot and they weren’t going to do it over again to fix the line, so he created this grammar rule in order to explain why that second verb didn’t have {-pu’} on it. 

We all hate the rule.

In terms of the grammar being internally consistent and making sense and offering the most broad expressive capability, this rule stinks enough that even Okrand breaks it from time to time. I personally think it’s forgivable to let those exceptions in canon trump the rule, making it obsolete, so we can say, “Yeah, that’s an old grammar rule that people often ignore,” like the way in English, as years pass, people never use “whom”, but instead use “who” for either subject or object. 

Yes, the English rule definitely still exists, and you really should say, “To whom are you speaking?” instead of “Who are you speaking to?”, but if somebody says the latter, everybody understands them, and most of the time, to be polite, you don’t even point out the technical error(s).

It’s good to have the rule to explain the past, but I don’t think anybody should feel TOO attached to the rule for the future. If you want to speak “proper” Klingon, follow the rule, just like you should avoid using the very useful verb suffix {-luH} if you want to speak proper Klingon, but if you just want to say something in Klingon that everyone will understand clearly, and you are not trying to impress anyone with your fastidiously proper grammar, go ahead an put a Type 7 on the second verb of SAO and use {-luH}. 

It’s like the English word “ain’t”. We know it’s not proper, but it works, and EVERYBODY knows HOW it works.

charghwI’ vaghnerya’ngan

rInpa’ bomnIS be’’a’ pI’.

> On Feb 27, 2019, at 12:34 AM, Daniel Dadap <daniel at dadap.net> wrote:
> On Feb 26, 2019, at 21:19, De'vID <de.vid.jonpin at gmail.com <mailto:de.vid.jonpin at gmail.com>> wrote:
>>> On Tue, 26 Feb 2019 at 15:20, Daniel Dadap <daniel at dadap.net <mailto:daniel at dadap.net>> wrote:
>> As for the rule resolving possible conflicts in aspect between a verb and its object sentence, perhaps that’s the reason, but I don’t see why the aspect of a verb taking an SAO and the verb in its SAO have to agree in the first place.
>> What do you mean by "agree"? They don't have to be the same (which you seem to imply), but they can't be incompatible.
> Okay. Yes, “the aspects should be the same” is what I thought you meant when you were talking about preventing contradictory aspects, which didn’t seem like something that needed preventing to me, hence the examples. Apologies for the misunderstanding.
> Thanks for the Skybox counter-examples of the “no aspect marker on verb taking SAO” rule. I’m constantly saying things like {(qaS vay') 'e' vIHar'pu'} to mean that I *had* believed that whatever the {(qaS vay')} placeholder represents was true, but that believing is completed after some new information caused me to no longer believe it. Then I remember that I’m not allowed to say {'e' vIHarpu'}. Of course, those counter-examples aren’t license to violate the rule given in TKD, but at least I won’t feel quite so bad about the occasional inevitable slip-ups when I say I {vIHarpu'} some sentence.
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