[tlhIngan Hol] doubly {-meH}ed nouns

Will Martin willmartin2 at mac.com
Tue May 14 15:11:09 PDT 2019

See below...

charghwI’ vaghnerya’ngan

rInpa’ bomnIS be’’a’ pI’.

>>>> {QangvaD, qeqmeH 'ej langmeH mIw vImuch}
>>>> I will present for the chancellor a process in order to train and in
>>>> order to thin
>> The sentence above {qeqmeH ‘ej langmeH} implies that the process is to train and to thin the chancellor as dual purposes (equality of purpose) — however my understanding is that the intent is that the training is causal to the thinning. A causal relationship seems like it should be {langmeH qeqmeH mIw} — “for the purpose of thinning, a processing for training”.

I know. I’m alway the guy who tells you what you can’t do, right?

It may be possible to nest purpose or relative clauses, but we’ve never seen examples and I doubt there’s a way to do this that isn’t too complex to reliably parse. Add that it’s unnecessary. There are ways of doing what you want done without pushing the grammar so far.

Yes, you can hammer a screw into a piece of wood, but why insist on using a hammer? A screwdriver does so much neater a job of it.

QangvaD langchoHmeH qeqlI’ghach vIghojmoHlaH. [This is one of those sentences that is not easy to translate into English because it carries nuances English is ill-equipped to convey without either rambling on, or omitting stuff.]

langchoH Qang neH Qang. Qu’vamvaD mIw vImuch.

tlhoy pI’ Qang net Sov. pIvchoHmeH vIQaH vIneH. chebmeyDaj nupmeH mIw vIchup.

We have plenty of ways to say it clearly and gracefully. We can’t let ourselves become fixated on a specific tool, or we risk pushing the grammar beyond its structural limits.

I really think that someone learning the language should start with simple expressions, then learn more grammatical constructions and use them simply, and learn more constructions and use them simply. Take an idea and try to express it using different grammatical constructions, and see which one most accurately expresses your idea; one expression, given different ways.

I don’t recommend grabbing a single grammatical construction and forcing every idea possible through it, and then arguing about why you think each one should work. It’s been done to death here. For decades.

I have this wild fantasy that someday this practice will become less fascinating.

It would probably never occur to me to nest dependent clauses because there isn’t any need to do this. Okrand has clearly stated that often Klingon speakers break down what an English speaker would express in one long, complex sentence into multiple, simpler sentences. That general trend suggests that if the expression is controversial, perhaps it is because you aren’t really trying to use the grammar lightly and express things with the simplest available grammar.

You are starting with the grammar and then trying to figure out the full scope of what can be said with each piece of it. Your cart is in front of your horse. Yes, a horse can push a cart, but steering is simpler if you turn the horse around.

As an exercise, try saying one thing with different grammatical constructions, instead of using one grammatical construction to say a bunch of different things. Then decide which of these constructions that you used comes closer to expressing what you want people to understand. It’s like brainstorming and then refining. Before you earn your chops, you can’t just spontaneously come up with the best way to express an idea. You really should try to come up with a bunch of DIFFERENT ways to say one thing, and through the experience of doing this, you get better and quickly coming up with the best way to say a thing, because you remain well practiced with all of Klingon grammar, instead of overly muscular with too few grammatical tools.

Because Klingon is a language, not a code. There isn’t just one best way to say ANYTHING. Don’t translate the words. Say the thing. Don’t translate the grammar into equivalent grammar. Say the thing. Say the thing a bunch of different ways, and then let the results speak to you, and see which one speaks clearest to you.

Even your badly constructed things will teach you what works and what doesn’t work, and you’ll learn more because of your wider grasp of the grammar.

I know. I’m weird to suggest this. I’m the only guy that I know who regularly suggests a bunch of different ways to say an expression on the list. Anyone else who regularly does this or who thinks it’s a good idea should speak up. We’re certainly in the minority, if indeed we are even plural.
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.kli.org/pipermail/tlhingan-hol-kli.org/attachments/20190514/3bd7c522/attachment.html>

More information about the tlhIngan-Hol mailing list