[tlhIngan Hol] comma between nouns joined by je

SuStel sustel at trimboli.name
Tue Apr 21 07:02:30 PDT 2020

On 4/21/2020 9:39 AM, mayqel qunen'oS wrote:
> lieven:
> > I would not add a comma if it's just {A B
> > je}. There is no rule, but still the question
> > of why add one there? I see no need.
> Indeed, there's no need. But I think it's better if someone sticks to 
> one writing style throughout. If we're placing commas between compound 
> nouns joined by {je}/{joq}/{ghap}, then why not act the same when just 
> two nouns are concerned ?
> I'm not saying that we *should*; I'm wondering whether it is possible.
Punctuation is largely a prescriptivist activity. You don't speak 
punctuation (unless you're Victor Borge), and most punctuation tends to 
be governed by whatever style guide you are using. There are some 
near-universals (e.g., put spaces between separate words — although even 
this isn't an absolute, as some style guides have you put hyphens 
between genitively-related nouns and some don't), but there is a lot of 

There is no universal style guide for Klingon. So far as I know, not 
even a major Klingon writing project has developed an extensive style 
guide. There is no authority with the right to tell you how to punctuate.

So do whatever you think best. I tend to waffle between minimalist 
punctuation and mimicking English punctuation. For instance, TKD has the 
non-punctuated sentences *bIjatlhHa'chugh qaHoH* and *qaHoH 
bIjatlhHa'chugh.* My English-punctuating brain wants to apply the rule 
that you separate a dependent clause from the main clause with a comma 
if the dependent clause precedes the main clause, but not if the 
dependent clause follows the main clause. *bIjatlhHa'chugh, qaHoH* but 
*qaHoH bIjatlhHa'chugh.* But my internal Klingon style guide tells me 
that that rule applies to English, where it's easy to tell where a 
dependent clause starts if it follows the main clause (the moment you 
see the /if,/ you know it's a dependent clause), but that the same logic 
doesn't apply to the Klingon grammar, in which the dependent-clause 
marker *-chugh* can be embedded between the verb and its subject and 
doesn't delineate the start or end of the clause. So I have to decide: 
how much am I going to punctuate? how consistent do I have to be?

There are no authoritative answers here. In your case, you tend to 
heavily punctuate, partly because you like to throw in a lot of 
dependent clauses in places the grammar doesn't address, and partly I 
think out of too much caution. I recommend you try to reduce punctuation 
where possible, and be less concerned with following any kind of formula 
or rule that tells you where to put it without regard to its purpose.


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