[tlhIngan Hol] placement of question words with regards to a {-'e'}ed noun

SuStel sustel at trimboli.name
Tue Apr 28 06:53:05 PDT 2020

On 4/28/2020 9:22 AM, mayqel qunen'oS wrote:
> SuStel:
>> I have no problem at all with allowing
>> qatlh and chay', which work just like adverbials
> I'm afraid I can't understand this. Why do the {qatlh} and {chay'}
> work like adverbials ? How can a question word work like an adverb ?

In general linguistic terminology, an adverbial is a word or phrase that 
modifies a verb is done. *chay'* asks how a verb is done. Describing how 
a verb is done is adverbial. *qatlh* is a little less obvious, but when 
you describe the reason something is done, that's also modifying the verb.

Since *chay'* and *qatlh* relate to adverbial concepts in general 
linguistic terms, it's not a stretch to suppose they resemble the class 
of Klingon words that Federation linguists call adverbials, at least in 
their placement.

Remember that to Klingon linguists, these are all just *chuvmey.* They 
don't make these deep distinctions. And non-OVS elements tend to just 
get thrown in the soup of words at the front anyway.

I'm not saying this is absolutely true, just that I wouldn't find it 
unreasonable to place *chay'* or *qatlh* in a sentence according to the 
same logic that you would place any adverbial.

> Even if the {chay'} and {qatlh} can indeed follow a noun marked with {-'e'}..
> 1. Is there a rule prohibiting their being placed before it? Is there
> a rule which forbids us writing: {qatlh 'avwI''e' Dachotpu'?}?


> The only issue which I can think of, is that when we write {'avwI''e
> qatlh Dachotpu'?} the translation goes "as for the guard, why did you
> murder him?". But if we write {qatlh 'avwI''e' Dachotpu'?} then the
> meaning becomes "why did you murder *the guard*?". i.e. instead of the
> "as for.." we have an emphasis.

The rule from the TKD addendum lets you "front" objects marked with 
*-'e',* put them before adverbials. They apparently remain objects, at 
least as far as the wording of TKD goes. That means they still represent 
focus, not topic. However, I bet it's the similarity between topic and 
focus that lets one do this fronting in the first place.

Basically, *'avwI''e' qatlh Dachotpu'* could be interpreted either way.

This is an area of grammar we don't have clear information on, so you're 
not going to get a satisfying answer.

> 2. What happens when the question word is {ghorgh} or {nuqDaq}?

*ghorgh* and *nuqDaq* also play adverbial-like roles. In *wa'leS 
mamej*/We leave tomorrow,/ the *wa'leS* is a noun, but it is playing an 
adverbial role in the general linguistic sense. It modifies the verb. It 
is not what Federation linguists classify as a Klingon adverbial, but 
the role it plays IS adverbial.


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