[tlhIngan Hol] logically/semantically connected sentences without an explicit grammatical connection

De'vID de.vid.jonpin at gmail.com
Wed Mar 6 01:29:22 PST 2019

[was Re: [tlhIngan Hol] Using -ta' during -taHvIS]

De'vID <de.vid.jonpin at gmail.com> schrieb am Mi., 27. Feb. 2019, 18:25:

> On Tue, 26 Feb 2019 at 15:47, SuStel <sustel at trimboli.name> wrote:
>> I get the feeling, from Okrand's translations as well as the text in TKD,
>> that the second sentence of a sentence-as-object is supposed to be a fairly
>> lightweight thing, not meant to carry the bulk of the meaning: "[*'e'*
>> and *net*] are used primarily, though not exclusively, with verbs of
>> thinking or observation (such as *know, see*)." When we go far afield
>> from that, we strain the ability of the language to deliver the intended
>> meaning.
> I also get the feeling that {'e'} is overused (though {net} is perhaps
> underused). Often, when I see a sentence on this mailing list written with
> {'e'}, I think that Okrand would've written it as two grammatically
> unconnected sentences.

This is something that Okrand does frequently enough, and which other
people writing Klingon (almost) never do, that I think it's worth pointing
out. Maybe we should be following Okrand's example and writing pairs of
sentences with fewer {'ej}s and {'e'} between them, and just let the
context indicate that the sentences are "connected".

>From Power Klingon:
{'uSDaj chop! chev!} "Bite his/her leg off!"
{targhlIj yIngagh! yIruch!} "Go mate with your targ!"

The first is a pet command, and is obviously clipped. But still, it doesn't
seem like anything was dropped which would've grammatically connected
{chev} to {chop}. I think if one of us had been asked to translate "bite
someone's leg off", we'd have likely gone with {'uSDaj chevmeH chop} or
something like that.

As for the second sentence, again, based on the Klingon sentences written
on this mailing list, I think most people would've written {targhlIj
Dangagh 'e' yIruch!}

Okrand has said in interviews that often, when he's asked to translate
something, the number of sentences in the Klingon translation doesn't match
the number in the English. A good example of this is the last line of the
"We battle forever, battling on through the Eternal fight."
{reH maSuvtaHqu'. mamevQo'. maSuvtaH. ma'ov.}

Another example, from Star Trek V:
{yISo'Ha'rup, yIghuS.}
"Stand by to de-cloak for firing."

Again, this could've been {bIghuSmeH yISo'Ha'rup!} but it's two separate
sentences instead.

Recently, there was this:
{chorgh 'uj(mey) lID SuvwI'; ron}
"the warrior rolled (haphazardly) for eight ujes"

Again, there's no {lIDmeH} or {rontaHvIS}. It's just {lID}, {ron}.

This one was my example, but it's based on Okrand's description of how
{lol} and {much} work together and he approved it:
{lol SuvwI'; mI'loD much}

There's also this, which is joined with {'ej}:
{qaS qepHom 'ej jIjeS.}

I bring up this example because, for many years, people on the mailing list
tried to put the event as the object of {jeS} (as in *{qepHom vIjeS}) or
marked it with {-vaD} (like *{qepHomvaD jIjeS}). But it turns out that you
can just state that something is happening, and that you participate, and
the context is what determines that you're participating in the thing
that's happening. I think you should also be able to just say {qaS qepHom;
jIjeS} and be understood. (You could also say {qaStaHvIS qepHom jIjeS},
which has a slightly different emphasis. But my point is that the second
sentence/verb doesn't necessarily have to explicitly refer to the object or
topic of the first, or even be grammatically joined to it.)

I think that very often, people use {'e'} or {-meH} or {-taHvIS} to join
Klingon sentences into one which would be expressed using a single sentence
in English, but there's no reason the Klingon translation doesn't just use
multiple grammatically independent sentences.

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