[tlhIngan Hol] jar DamaSqu'bogh yIngu' vs nuq 'oH jar'e' DamaSqu'bogh

SuStel 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 
favorite month//?/

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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