[tlhIngan Hol] Can we say {qarbe''a'} ?

Jeffrey Clark jmclark85 at gmail.com
Tue May 7 13:39:50 PDT 2019


A point I tried to make in my previous reply was that a use of the irregular {qarbe’’a’} is unusual, and would draw attention to it’s use over the more normal {qar’a’}. You see this tactic used frequently as a signalling device for specific intentionallities in academic writing, precisely because it calls attention to itself.

I maintain that it is perfectly grammatical, and parseable, and — in the right context — desirable (depending on the intention of the speaker). If we follow your logic of “Okrand never used it that way” too far, we can easily arrive at an extreme of only using sentences that Okrand used… but, why bother having grammatical rules if we don’t allow ourselves room to communicate using those rules? Or should we not acknowledge and discuss the diversity available in expressing thoughts and the subtleties inherent in making those choices?

If someone asked me if I already ate lunch. The expected answer would be some variation of “I ate.” We tend to use simple tenses for simple questions. However, if the reply comes back “I have eaten.” Despite meaning the same thing, by changing the tense/mood of the verb, I’ve signalled something semantically — the unusualness of the response calls attention to itself, even if it conveys the same information. This is why we recognise connotative and denotative meanings of things — the semantic implications of a particular phrasing can have implications beyond their literal meanings and their functional equivalency.

So, {qar’a’} and {qarbe’’a’} are functionally equivalent, and {qar’a’} is the expected form; however, I argue that {qarbe’’a’} is still valid and can be used as a contextual signal for the listener to derive some meaning not usually indicated by the expected usage.

Finally, Okrand using the negative in the explanation for the idiomatic use of {qar’a’} is irrelevant since “isn’t that so” is also an idiomatic expression. Just because English uses the negative doesn’t mean Klingon does.


Sent from my iPhone

> On May 7, 2019, at 15:44, SuStel <sustel at trimboli.name> wrote:
>> On 5/7/2019 3:20 PM, mayqel qunen'oS wrote:
>> For a moment f*** tkd and Ca'Non.. f*** the known meaning of {qar'a'} too..
>> What the jay' does {qarbe''a'} mean ?
>> Does it mean "isn't that accurate?" or does it mean "is that incorrect?" ? Or does it mean both ? Or can it mean both ?
> The two mean the same thing.
> Now that you know what qarbe''a' means, kindly go back to using qar'a' as described in TKD when uttering tag questions.
> (By the way, one of the translations given in TKD for qar'a' is isn't that so? Notice the negative in the English translation. Now everyone can relax.)
> -- 
> SuStel
> http://trimboli.name
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