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

Will Martin willmartin2 at mac.com
Wed May 8 06:46:04 PDT 2019


And I’m a Capricorn with Saturn rising — a double-Capricorn, with a grand trine involving exclusively Earth sign planets.

And I’m totally with SuStel on this one.

Here’s the root of the problem:

Okrand gave us an idiomatic use of {qar’a’} AS A SECOND VERB IN A SENTENCE THAT ALREADY HAS A MAIN VERB.

There is no grammatical justification for this outside of the context of this exception that Okrand points out. You can’t just do this with verbs in general.

Basically, a normal Klingon sentence has a main verb with no Type 9 verb suffix.

The Type 9 suffix {-jaj} is special, and a sentence with a verb with {-jaj} will not have a second verb with no Type 9 suffix. The only main verb will have {-jaj}, and the nouns might be moved around from their usual positions, because, hey, {-jaj} is special.

The Type 9 suffix {-‘a’} on the main verb turns a statement into a yes/no question. There will be no second verb in this sentence that lacks a Type 9 suffix…

… except for this weird case in which adding {qar’a’} after the main verb, which lacks a Type 9 suffix, either before or after the subject of that main verb converts the statement into a yes/no question with the expectation that the answer will be “yes”. You are open to being told otherwise, but you are guessing that the answer is “yes”. You might even be openly suggesting that it might be good for one’s near-future well-being for them to agree with you.

[but mostly, this really helps keeping your lips moving when dubbing in Klingon for a scene originally shot in English that has too many syllables in it.]

So, if you use {qarbe’’a’} in place of {qar’a’}, you have no grammatical justification for adding it as a second verb in the same sentence. It’s not really a dependent clause. The suffix {-‘a’} does not turn a main verb into a dependent clause. Any verb except this {qar’a’} remains the main verb of the sentence when you add {-‘a’} to it.

So, if you use {qarbe’’a’} following a statement, you’ve just added a period between the previous statement and {qarbe’’a’}. You no longer have a yes/no question with the assumption that the answer is probably yes. You are just saying something, and we start out from scratch figuring out what it means.

And I challenge the idea that {qarbe’} means “inaccurate” as somehow distinguishable from “not accurate”. It means “not accurate”. One might wish for it to mean something other than “not accurate” for the purpose of argument, but were one to make that suggestion, one would be… not accurate.

Keep in mind that when an English speaker says, “Isn’t that right?” it may be intended to mean the same thing as saying, “That’s right, right?, but it’s the same mindless looseness with words that makes “I could care less,” mean the same thing as “I couldn’t care less.” In fact, if you couldn’t care less, you don’t care, but if you could care less, then obviously you do care, at least a little bit, just like Al Jankovic points out in Word Crimes.

If one actually considers what one is saying, then the negation of a thing is not equal to the thing being negated, so “Isn’t that right?” is not the same as “That’s right, right?” We just THINK it means the same thing because we’ve heard it that way a lot and we never thought about it enough to question badly constructed slang. We just keep repeating it out of mindless habit for generations.

charghwI’ vaghnerya’ngan

rInpa’ bomnIS be’’a’ pI’.




> On May 7, 2019, at 3:30 PM, Jeffrey Clark <jmclark85 at gmail.com> wrote:
> 
> I disagree with charghwI’:
> 
> qar — be accurate
> qarbe’ — not accurate =inaccurate
> ‘a’ — interrogative
> qarbe’’a’ — it is not accurate, yes/no? = is it inaccurate
> 
> I believe charghwI’ parsed this is “is it not accurate”, which is a trap in English; by substituting “inaccurate” for “not accurate” we can avoid the trap.
> 
> —jevreH
> 
> Sent from my iPhone
> 
> On May 7, 2019, at 15:20, mayqel qunen'oS <mihkoun at gmail.com <mailto:mihkoun at gmail.com>> wrote:
> 
>> Actually, this is what I don't understand..
>> 
>> 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 ?
>> 
>> ~ m. qunen'oS
>> Ca'Non Ca'NonoywIj 'IH..
>> 
>> 
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