[tlhIngan Hol] We're here to help you

Daniel Dadap daniel at dadap.net
Wed May 22 07:07:28 PDT 2019

De'vID already provided the canon description of {ngugh} (which I hadn’t been aware had been described in such a level of detail, so thanks for that) but to clarify further:

> On May 22, 2019, at 08:14, mayqel qunen'oS <mihkoun at gmail.com> wrote:
> One *can* do that, i.e. specify a point in time e.g. a date, but I
> understand {ngugh} to be able to refer to the event itself.
> In the original story, the {ngugh} refers to the event described:
> "..*then* the humans were fighting, while they were surrounded, while
> death was imminent.."

If that was your intent, that {ngugh} referred to the time of the fighting it would have been better if {ngugh} occurred after the sentence about the fighting.

{Hargh Humanpu'… ngugh Humanpu' Dechchu'ta' dogmey}

The humans fight… at that time the dogs had completely surrounded the humans

> Perhaps this *then* is referring to a point in time which is in the
> present, the past, or the future. But I don't see *why* I *should*
> pinpoint *that* exact point.

Because {ngugh} calls attention to a point in time. It doesn’t have to refer to an exact time*stamp* like “the day before yesterday”, “at 5:17 in the morning”, or “twenty three years from now”, but it should refer to some point in time that has been previously discussed. That point of time can be another action, like {jIDoy'choH. ngugh jIghung je.} - I will grow tired. At that time I will also be hungry. If {ngugh} is the first word in a passage, then it makes it seem like the text has been excerpted from something larger and there’s some missing context.

> Context-wise, of course the reader could wonder; but it's up to the
> author whether he wishes to reveal this information to the reader.

I do seem to recognize a common rhetorical “then” that is used to introduce phrases in English, and indeed saying something like “Then, Darth Sidious said…” doesn’t sound *that* strange, but consider if I change it to:

“When it happened, Darth Sidious said…”
“After that, Darth Sidious said…”

Doesn’t that make you think that there’s some additional context missing? Is it really that unusual for the reader to think the author has left out something important?

Of course it’s up to the writer whether to reveal at what time something happened. But if you don’t feel the need to reveal the time, then why use {ngugh} at all? It has to happen at *some* point in time, but if you’re not going to say when, don’t call extra attention to the when. If I start a sentence with {pa'}, wouldn’t you be curious where it happened? Of course it happens *somewhere*, but if I start sprinkling {pa'} everywhere without also referring to an actual place it starts seeming a bit weird. That’s what using {ngugh} without also mentioning the time it refers to feels like.

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