[tlhIngan Hol] ordering of multiple adverbials

SuStel sustel at trimboli.name
Tue Sep 17 08:12:13 PDT 2019

On 9/17/2019 10:32 AM, Will Martin wrote:
> Looking at the actual examples, certain adverbials appear to 
> consistently precede other particular adverbials. That looks a lot 
> like the behavior of verb suffixes.

We don't have enough examples to form a pattern. We have a few examples 
from /paq'batlh./

> There is no evidence that the order of adverbials depends upon their 
> relative “importance”. We don’t even know how a Klingon would rate the 
> relative importance of adverbials.

Or whether there is a fixed order at all. Or whether the order 
determines some kind of scope. Or whether certain adverbials precede 
other adverbials on Tuesday nights when you have two jacks.

> There is limited evidence that there is a kind of nesting such that 
> each adverbial applies to all that follows it, though it could well be 
> that the sequence is arbitrary. Meanwhile, he could have shown us that 
> it is arbitrary by varying which adverbial comes first, but he didn’t, 
> so it seems less likely that it is arbitrary.

He wasn't trying to show us that the order was variable, he was 
translating poetry. And when people write or speak, they often don't 
vary something that could be variable because consistency helps keep the 
narrative together. They're not "Jane and Dick" books, even though 
there's no linguistic reason not to call them that. It's not "Costello 
and Abbot" or "jelly and peanut butter."

> It would be interesting if someone were to bring up the idea of 
> adverbial types to Okrand. I suspect he’d smile at the idea. He might 
> go with it, though I doubt it.
> If he did, he’d probably go back and study the patterns he’s already 
> followed, then expand on those patterns with ideas of his own and we’d 
> have another little interesting tweak to the grammar of the language.
> But, as I said, he probably would just smile and not offer us any 
> further insight.

I dislike speculating on when Okrand will act impishly or not. Imagining 
mysterious smiles does not substitute for analyzing grammar, and any 
speculation on what he would do is just so much fan fiction.

> Any opinion the rest of us might form can color our individual 
> approach to the language, but will not become commonly accepted 
> practice by the body of speakers.
It will, at best, because the Earth dialect of Klingon. It will never be 
Klingon as spoken by Klingons.


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