[tlhIngan Hol] when -laH cripples the -lu'

Will Martin willmartin2 at mac.com
Tue Mar 19 06:53:58 PDT 2019

Great example.

Looking more closely at it, I could see it interpreted two different ways, and wonder which is intended.

The most common interpretation is that the one who seeks to win a war should not do so if doing so destroys his own empire. The other interpretation is that the destruction of any empire is not justified by winning a war. 

Similarly, the second half either means that one should end a war to save one’s own empire or that one should stop any war before it destroys any empire. Regardless of whose team you are on, don’t cook your golden goose. Don’t destroy the organization that makes glorious war possible. A surviving empire can always build itself back up and offer another war later, right? Then you get to defeat them AGAIN, so long as you don’t destroy them. 

Human common sense suggests the first interpretation should win because we seek to dominate all enemies and end all wars, but considering how Klingons value a strong enemy, it could well be that the proverb is stressing that all empires must survive, perhaps so that they may continue to wage war. A Klingon would never want to destroy all enemies. 

If the second interpretation holds, that it is a general law that even your enemy’s empire must be saved, then your example shows {-lu’} as completely unspecified, and not merely unstated. 

In other words, it is not that there are some guys and I’m not going to tell you who they are, but those guys X and those same guys Y. I’m instead saying that EVERYBODY X and EVERYBODY Y. I’m talking about the generic “one” that proverbs generally refer to. 

If that’s the case, then going back to the original question, I’d be as specific as the topic implies and talk about students instead of talking about a generic “one” when I really only intend to be talking about students. You get the added bonus of losing any conflict over speaking of ability. 

I think you should use {ghojwI’} a couple times and then continue with the invisible “he/she” without using {-lu’} at all. You don’t need it as much as you seem to think you do. I honestly think it’s most common use is for the global, generic “one” and not so much for the limited context, unstated subject. Any normal pronoun can do what you are trying to do with the indefinite subject. 

It’s just an opinion. I’m not an authority. It stands on its own, or it falls in the marketplace of discussion. 

Sent from my iPad

> On Mar 18, 2019, at 3:47 PM, SuStel <sustel at trimboli.name> wrote:
>> On 3/18/2019 3:36 PM, mayqel qunen'oS wrote:
>> charghwI:
>> > There might be a better approach to the entire effort.
>> I wish there was, but what would that be ?
>> Suppose you wanted to write, a long passage with regards to the process of learning a foreign language. Starting from how often one should study, how one should study, the things one should avoid, etc..
>> How would you approach it, without using the -lu' ?
>> The only choices I can think of, are saying {vay'} and/or {ghojwI'}, and using them interchangeably. But I would avoid the - lu', if not for any other reason, at least in order to avoid hitting the simultaneous -laH/lu' obstacle.
>> Would you approach this differently ?
> I'd probably use imperatives. If it's a book of instruction, instead of saying naDev wot lo'nISlu' one needs to use a verb here, just say naDev wot yIlo' use a verb here!
> If, on the other hand, you're writing a scholarly paper on how people go about learning languages, then I'd pepper my manuscript with ghojwI' student, jatlhwI' speaker, or whoever it is who is learning. naDev wot lo' jatlhwI' the speaker uses a verb here. Then your -laH problem doesn't even exist.
> -- 
> SuStel
> http://trimboli.name
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