[tlhIngan Hol] jar DamaSqu'bogh yIngu' vs nuq 'oH jar'e' DamaSqu'bogh
sustel at trimboli.name
Mon Jul 13 08:16:20 PDT 2020
On 7/13/2020 10:59 AM, Will Martin wrote:
> Likely, if there were simple, consistent ways to ask the other Klingon
> questions as commands, there wouldn’t be ANY Klingon question words.
> It’s quicker and simpler to ask the Klingon questions, and there is no
> simpler, quicker way to ask “Which”, except to command someone to
> identify the item in question.
You have no evidence that Klingons ask for identification by using
imperative *ngu'* instead of having a question word for /which /because
imperative *ngu'* is quicker and simpler. We are actually given a
completely different explanation (see below). Sometimes the Klingon way
is quicker and simpler, and sometimes the English way is. I do not find
*jar DamaSbogh yIngu'* any quicker or simpler than /What is your
We do, however, have a bit of evidence that Klingon culture has
something to do with using *ngu'* where English uses /which./ Okrand
says, "When asking someone a question of this type, you are really
asking him or her to make a choice. So just be a Klingon and order them
to do so..." This may just be a quip by Okrand, but we might also
interpret it as an actual sociolinguistic explanation. But it ONLY
applies to *ngu'* translating /which/ because "being Klingon" here
involves ordering someone to make the choice. It doesn't apply to any
other type of question.
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