[tlhIngan Hol] can I say {jaghpu' chaH chaH'e'} ?

Will Martin willmartin2 at mac.com
Wed Jan 22 10:52:20 PST 2020


I like the analysis in this discussion. I’ve always thought that pronouns were not the verb “to be”. Klingon lacks the verb “to be”. It’s just that Klingons use pronouns in a way that we would translate as the verb “to be”.

It was pointed out that pronouns can use verbal suffixes, but remember that only a very limited set of verbal suffixes are allowed. We could probably use ANY verbal suffix if pronouns were ever to function as actual verbs. Also, the {-‘e’} on the final noun would be unnecessary if the pronoun were acting as an actual verb.

The real point here is that the grammar for pronouns used as “to be” is like the grammar for comparatives: It is unique within the language with its own special rules and limits. You can’t take the grammar of a normal Klingon sentence and try to apply it to sentences built around pronouns used as we understand the verb “to be”.

It’s as if it were something from some other language altogether, snipped and dropped into Klingon, without reference to Klingon’s other rules of grammar.

If you want to make weird but arguably not illegal constructions, you can, but that won’t make them not weird.

charghwI’ vaghnerya’ngan

rInpa’ bomnIS be’’a’ pI’.




> On Jan 21, 2020, at 12:00 PM, SuStel <sustel at trimboli.name> wrote:
> 
> On 1/21/2020 11:45 AM, Lieven L. Litaer wrote:
>> Am 21.01.2020 um 17:28 schrieb nIqolay Q: 
>>> I'm not sure it's quite so clearly defined as that. Copula pronouns can 
>>> take verbal suffixes, after all. And we know from the latest qepHom 
>>> (http://www.qephom.de/book/qepHom2019_p_21.jpg <http://www.qephom.de/book/qepHom2019_p_21.jpg>) that not all Klingons 
>>> analyze words into distinct parts of speech the same way. 
>> 
>> Be careful not to over-interpret this too much. It was only said that 
>> verbs and nouns can be the same word, based on TKD; Don't interpret it 
>> too much that words can mean anything now. Proniuns were NEVER treated 
>> as a verb, it's only the English translation that uses a verb (to be).
> Agreed. The text of the qepHom page goes out its way to avoid declaring whether identical nouns and verbs are, in fact, the same word, or whether they're homophonous, but different, words. The TKD Addendum describes "nouns and verbs being identical in form."
> 
> But nIqolay's point is not without merit: Klingon parts of speech may not be utterly rigid. Of course, there are formally only the three parts of speech: DIp, wot, chuv, and a lot of chuvmey act like, stand in for, or have properties of DIpmey or wotmey at times. But there are clearly limits. You could not, for instance, use a pronoun as an adverbial or an adverbial as a pronoun, despite the fact that they're both chuvmey. Since we lack vocabulary for the subtypes of chuvmey, one might think that Klingon linguists don't care to develop too detailed of a formal description of the structure of their language.
> 
> -- 
> SuStel
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