[tlhIngan Hol] irrealis {net jal} and the {net jalchugh}

SuStel sustel at trimboli.name
Wed Feb 26 10:27:10 PST 2020

On 2/26/2020 10:34 AM, Will Martin wrote:
> It sounds like Okrand has done some work to explain how one might 
> express the irrealis in Klingon. I’m ignorant of that explanation. 
> Forgive me, if I’m digging at something that I should just be 
> accepting. I’m honestly trying to understand this mechanism.

The explanation was given to us on the list by Lieven on November 3, 2016:

    For a statement that's counterfactual (or "irrealis"), a phrase with
    the verb jal ("imagine, envision") is used: ... net jalchugh ("if
    one imagines that…", "if it is imagined that…"). For example:

    tlhIngan SoH net jalchugh, qagh DatIv
    This is "If you were a Klingon, you would enjoy gagh" or, literally,
    "If one imagines that you are a Klingon, you would enjoy gagh."

    The implication is that you are not a Klingon. Compare:

    qaghwIj DaSopchugh, qaHoH
    "If you eat my gagh, I'll kill you."
    qaghwIj DaSop net jalchugh, qaHoH

    "If you were eating my gagh, I would kill you"
    (literally: "If one imagines that you are eating my gagh…").


> The way we used to do it was: {muleghpu’be’ ‘avwI’, vaj QaQ ghu’.} 
> "The guard has not seen me, thus the situation is good."
> We could also use a rhetorical question, as is common in American Sign 
> Language: {qatlh jIQuch? muleghpu’be’ ‘avwI’.} “Why am I happy? The 
> guard didn’t see me."
> If we want to talk about bad situations instead of good ones, 
> {muleghpu’be’mo’ ‘avwI’, ghu’ qab vIjunta’.} "I have evaded a bad 
> situation because the guard has not seen me."
> Sticking closer to the original suggestion:
> {muleghpu’ ‘avwI’ net jalchugh, ghu’ qab jallu’pu’.} "If one imagines 
> that the guard had seen me, one has imagined a bad situation."
> Now, the bad situation is pretty obviously the one that has been 
> imagined. I’m not talking about the event of imagining the situation. 
> I’m talking about the situation that one has imagined.
> So, enlighten me. What do I have wrong here?

Just that none of your sentences involve irrealis. They all have to do 
with factual or conditional statements. Irrealis is about hypothetical 
or counterfactual statements.


-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.kli.org/pipermail/tlhingan-hol-kli.org/attachments/20200226/5070b369/attachment-0005.htm>

More information about the tlhIngan-Hol mailing list