[tlhIngan Hol] Noun marked with {-'e'} at the beginning of the sentence

SuStel sustel at trimboli.name
Mon May 13 09:17:08 PDT 2019

On 5/13/2019 12:03 PM, mayqel qunen'oS wrote:
> SuStel:
> > It's because pronoun sentences already
> > have a correct form, with the topic at the
> > end.
> ok, I see.
> So, pronoun sentences aside, what would your opinion be with regards 
> to the following sentences ?
> {tlhInganpu''e', maHvaD Dujmeychaj nojQo'}
> as for the klingons, they refuse to lend us their ships
> {tlhInganpu''e', qajatlhpu', maHvaD Dujmeychaj nojQo'}
> as for the klingons, I've told you, they refuse to lend us their ships
> {tlhInganpu''e', maHvaD Dujmeychaj nojqang net jalchugh, vaj QangvaD 
> langmeH mIw vImuch}
> as for the klingons, if they were willing to lend us their ships, then 
> I would present for the chancellor a thinning program.
> Are the above wrong ?
> Are the above correct ?
> or..
> Are the above correct, *only* if I want to emphasize ?

They are marked, because there is no reason you can't leave those nouns 
in their normal places in their sentences and still get emphasis:

*maHvaD Dujmeychaj nojQo' tlhInganpu''e'

*qajatlhpu' maHvaD Dujmeychaj nojQo' tlhInganpu''e'
*This one is another example of you splitting a sentence with something 
parenthetical. If I were to front the topic, I'd put the *qajatlhpu'* at 
the very end to avoid splitting the topic from its sentence.

*maHvaD Dujmeychaj nojqang tlhInganpu''e' net jalchugh, vaj QangvaD 
langmeH mIw vImuch*

> SuStel:
> > And it's fairly clear from TKD that another
> > normal application of the rules is to add
> > noun phrases to the fronts of sentences
> > when their syntactic roles are known,
> > whether by suffix or by their identification as
> > time expressions.
> By "identification as time expressions" you mean something like the 
> following ?
> {cha'leS ram, vIghro' tIQ wIquvmoH}
> the night of day after tomorrow, we honor the ancient cat

Yes. We know what the role of the noun phrase *cha'leS ram* /the night 
two days from now/ is, because we recognize it as a time expression.

> De'vID:
> > Nobody has said that you can't? It's
> > grammatically valid. It just doesn't mean
> > what you want it to mean.
> Now, you lost me..
> Lets remove the ambiguity, of whether its singular of plural, by 
> writing: {vIghro'mey tIQ'e' novmey bIH}. Would you accept this to say 
> "as for ancient cats, they are aliens" ?

I would accept it as a marked way to emphasize *vIghro'mey tIQ.* But you 
don't really mean to emphasize the phrase, just topicalize it. It 
already gets topicalized as *novmey bIH vIghro'mey tIQ'e'.*

> SuStel:
> > I've got no problem with that. mayqel wasn't
> > translating something with emphasis.
> So, as I understand, if I wrote:
> {vIghro'mey tIQ'e' novmey bIH}
> as for ancient cats, they are aliens
> Then this is correct and acceptable *only* if I want to translate 
> something with emphasis, right ?

That's how I'd interpret it. That doesn't preclude a possible reading of 
it as a simple topic, but Okrand has said that such a form would be 
marked. It's hard to imagine topicalizing that way and not expecting it 
to be read as emphasis.

You seem to have trouble accepting the idea that sometimes you CAN say 
something, but that you might not WANT to say it because of how it 
sounds to a native speaker.

> SuStel:
> > I've got no problem with that. mayqel wasn't
> > translating something with emphasis.
> So, if I understand correctly, at the Ca'Non phrase {qIbDaq SuvwI''e' 
> SoH Dun law' Hoch Dun puS}, the translation isn't actually "as for (a) 
> warrior(s)..", but rather "as for (A) WARRIOR(S)..". It is formulated 
> this way (with the {-'e'} marked noun), for emphasis.
> right ?

No. Okrand said that such a phrase is marked, not that it automatically 
provides emphasis. In this sentence it's clearly just being used this 
way because there's no other place it belongs in the superlative 
formula. In basic sentences if you want to emphasize the subject or 
object, you just leave them in place.


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