[tlhIngan Hol] Apollo mission sentence

Will Martin willmartin2 at mac.com
Wed May 1 12:13:51 PDT 2019

Thanks for bringing this to my attention.

{nay’ DIlmeH Huch} is not a noun-noun construction. It’s not a “genitive” (termed “possessive” in TKD). It is money for-the-purpose-of-buying-a-dish-of-food. It’s money with a mission.

Note that this is an uncommon construction, probably not justified by canon, because the general rule is that while a verb with {-meH} can describe the purpose of a noun or it can describe the purpose of a verb, there is a distinctive difference in form depending on whether it describes a noun or a verb.

When it describes a noun, the verb with {-meH} will, in all examples I’ve seen, NOT HAVE A SUBJECT OR OBJECT. While a verb with {-meH} certainly can have a subject and/or a direct object, almost always, it does so only if it is describing the purpose of a verb, not a noun.

Okrand doesn’t explicitly say this in TKD, but in his examples and subsequent explanations, he has expressed that purpose clauses describing nouns are basically as close to infinitives as verbs get in Klingon. It’s an “in-order-to-learn knife”, or less awkwardly translated a “training knife”. The translations are often gerunds. 

Now that I think about it, this is probably why he didn’t put {Human} where I put it in the translation because I don’t know of any example where he has given a verb with {-meH} either a subject or an object if it is describing the purpose of a noun. He’s done it for the purpose of the action of a verb, but not for a noun. If he had done it here, it probably would have been his first venture into this practice.

It’s interesting that he did give it a locative. No subject. No object. But a locative. Fascinating...

It was more important to him to follow this unspoken rule of not putting a subject on {SaqmeH Qu'} than it was for him to convey the meaning that the mission was “manned”.

That explains why he dropped that detail, despite his intense attention to detail for the rest of the translation.

Thank you, again, for bringing this to my attention.

charghwI’ vaghnerya’ngan

rInpa’ bomnIS be’’a’ pI’.

> On May 1, 2019, at 2:43 PM, Daniel Dadap <daniel at dadap.net> wrote:
>> On May 1, 2019, at 13:28, Will Martin <willmartin2 at mac.com> wrote:
>> Thirdly, {maS SaqmeH Qu’} is ungrammatical because you can’t put a verb in the middle of a noun-noun possessive construction.
> I’m not sure if {SaqmeH} still totally counts as a verb here, for the purposes of a verb not being allowed in the middle of a noun-noun. I think {SaqmeH Qu'} is treated as a noun, grammatically. We have plenty of canonical noun phrases with {-meH}ed verbs like {ghojmeH mIw}, {DIlmeH Huch}, {voDmeH jan}, etc., where the verb is known to be transitive, and there are therefore a couple of different ways you could slice up something like {nay' DIlmeH Huch}.
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