[tlhIngan Hol] subject of the -bogh clause of a sao being the subject of another verb

Will Martin willmartin2 at mac.com
Tue Jul 28 08:21:09 PDT 2020


Thanks.

I posted the more detailed critique less to be right than to expand on a broader sense of where the limits are, knowing that if I was overextending, you’d catch me and we’d all benefit from the more detailed explanation.

Trying to wrap my head around what he’s doing here, it seems that in all cases except your favorite, he has worked optional word order so that clauses that optionally could follow the main clause precede it, instead, which stops what would otherwise encapsulate the first sentence of SAO in the second sentence.

In that “best of all” example, he breaks that rule, except that he uses stanzas to make it clear where the SAO attaches itself.

And that brings me to wonder to what extent paq’batlh is poetry, and therefore not confined to the grammar we generally need to hold ourselves to.

I mean, it hammers away at this specific grammatical construction — where SAO has a Type 9 suffix on one of the two “main” verbs of SAO, giving us far more canon about this than we have for most guidance about most but the most simple grammatical constructions… but it takes the form of poetry, which we are told is exceptional to general grammar, like using {-mey} on body parts.

I’m not arguing that we can’t accept this as canon. I’m just wondering whether this is great canon for grammar in general, or if it hints at a generalizable truth about the grammar, but poetically extends it beyond spoken norm in that one example, since it uses a stanza — a tool of poetry — to put the first sentence of SAO directly in front of the verb it needs to be attached to, or whether the entire use of SAO with Type-9-affixed verbs is poetic and not generalizable.

It’s merely a personal doubt and not one I propose to be an actual ruling, since only Okrand can make that kind of declaration.

Anyway, thanks for the great research and the point well made. This is helpful to everyone. 

charghwI’ vaghnerya’ngan

rInpa’ bomnIS be’’a’ pI’.

> On Jul 28, 2020, at 10:42 AM, SuStel <sustel at trimboli.name> wrote:
> 
> On 7/28/2020 10:16 AM, Will Martin wrote:
>> To offer a slightly more specific critique: A relative clause is not a sentence. It’s a noun phrase. As such, it can’t be the second sentence in a Sentence As Object (SAO) construction.
> I specifically did not give this response because it doesn't hold up given other areas of Klingon grammar.
> 
> More than once we've learned that where Okrand says sentence he really means verbal clause. He says that conjunctions join sentences, but he also uses them between dependent verbal clauses a lot. He says that subjects and objects go on sentences, but they also go on dependent verbal clauses of all types.
> 
> Furthermore, Okrand himself has used 'e' as the object of a non-sentence, in paq'batlh:
> 
> qeylIS Qaw' 'e' nIDmeH
>     yerDaj weH molor
>     'ej juH qachDaj meQmoH
> 
> Molor did not destroy Kahless
>     By burning his house
>     Or ravaging his lands.
> 
> (The translation is not literal. The next line starts "Instead, by doing so..." meaning the emphasis should be that Molor tried to destroy Kahless by raiding and burning.)
> 
> This stanza has a sentence-as-object construction, qeylIS Qaw' 'e' nIDmeH, in which the second "sentence" is a purpose clause.
> 
> Only a few lines later there's another one:
> 
> Hoch qInmoH mu'meyDaj
>     ghob 'agh 'ej val
>     yIntaH 'e' luleghmo' chaH mer
> 
> All were bemused by his words,
>     Wise and full of spirit,
>     And astonished to see him alive.
> 
> Here, the sentence-as-object, yIntaH 'e' luleghmo' chaH because they saw that he was still alive, has a subordinate clause as its second "sentence."
> 
> We get still more (I'll give shortened versions):
> 
> watlh 'Iwraj 'e' lu'aghmo' nuHmey jej
> 
> jatlh 'e' mevDI' qeylIS
> 
> bImej 'e' vIchaw'mo'
> 
> SoHvaD quvwI' qem Hegh 'e' wIvDI' Hegh
> 
> pop Hevchugh quvwI' 'ej 'e' DaqaSmoHchugh
> (Simultaneously demonstrates conjoining subordinate clauses!)
> 
> jatlh 'e' mevDI' nuvpu'
> 
> 'qa' qo'Daq paw chaH 'e' maqmeH
> 
> Suv 'e' mevDI'
> 
> and best of all...
> 
> veqlarghvo' narghbogh loD
>     chutDaj bIv 'e' ngIlbogh loD
>     DaH pongDaj Sov qotar
> 
> Now Kotar has the name
>     Of the one who eluded Fek'lhr
>     And dared to defy his rules.
> 
> ...which is an example of the very kind of relative clause that you said can't happen.
> 
> 
> 
>> If it worked (and it doesn’t), then the word order would have to be (and keep in mind, this is not grammatically correct but merely a step closer to being grammatically correct in order to show why the whole idea doesn’t work):
>> 
>> Dun [Qap yuQDaj ‘e’ tulbogh nuv].
> This is grammatical and is the correct formation for what he tried to say.
> 
> 
> 
>> It doesn’t work because you can’t have the first sentence in SAO contained within the second sentence. It’s not a “Sentence As Object”. It’s a “Sentence As Object Within Another Sentence”, which is not a valid grammatical construction in Klingon.
> Says who?
> 
> 
> 
>> In general, a Type 9 suffix on either main verb in SAO should set off alarms, since the addition of Type 9 suffix turns the verb into something functionally different from a main verb, and SAO requires two main verbs.
> 
> Nope.
> 
> 
> 
> -- 
> SuStel
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