[tlhIngan Hol] is it necessary to state the topic noun in a {-bogh} clause ?

SuStel sustel at trimboli.name
Thu Jun 27 07:57:47 PDT 2019

On 6/27/2019 10:45 AM, mayqel qunen'oS wrote:
> Okay, I've no idea what "topic noun" or "clause" is, because at the
> brain factory, someone forgot to install in my brain the "ability to
> understand grammar terms" circuit.. But I wrote the title this way
> because it sounds cool..
> Anyways, lets get to the point..
> Suppose I write a looong passage, with regards to romulans who feed a
> cat. At the story there is a third party, which is "we". At some
> point, I want to say "we respect the romulans who see the cat".
> Normally, that would be:
> {vIghro' luje'bogh romuluSnganpu' DIvuv}
> The question now is:
> At the klingon sentence above, do I*have*  to write/include the
> {romuluSnganpu'} ? Would it be correct to just write {vIghro'
> luje'bogh DIvuv}, with the {DI-} obviously referring to the
> (obviously) plural subject of {je'} ?
> Remember, that the passage is looong, that there are only three
> parties involved (the cat, the romulans, and us), and that by the time
> we come to the need to write the sentence we talk about, it's crystal
> clear that it is the romulans we respect.

Your question boils down to: can the head noun of a relative clause be 
an elided pronoun?

The answer is no. You must explicitly state the head noun (or pronoun) 
of a relative clause.

There is one possible exception, and it's not clear whether it's really 
an exception. On the Klingon Language Lab CD there are a bunch of audio 
recordings by Okrand. One of those recordings seems not to have been 
used in the actual Language Lab, and it is Okrand saying *Dajatlhbogh 
vIyajbe'.* There is a corresponding English file in which he says, "I 
find no match for what you just said." Is the phrase canon? It 
apparently wasn't used in the program even though it was recorded by 
Okrand. Did the phrase mean to follow a replay of the speech of the user 
(the game could listen to your pronunciation), in which case the full 
construction would be *<yadda yadda> Dajatlhbogh vIyajbe'* (which has 
grammatical issues of its own)? We don't know. Don't use this utterance 
to justify anything; I only bring it up to dismiss it.


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