[tlhIngan Hol] bID in noun-noun constructions

Will Martin willmartin2 at mac.com
Thu May 14 14:39:01 PDT 2020

Note that a half deck could be something not half as BIG as a deck. It could be something half as HIGH as a deck.

Think of a split-level house. Now, apply that to a ship.

In a European historical sailing ship, it refers to a specific deck of the ship that seems to be arbitrarily named. Given the lack of this history, it seems odd that Klingons would seek a similarly named deck as some sort of parallel.

The Wikipedia page has so many deck names, it can be confusing, but it seems that in a square-rigger like Columbus sailed, or the early American Colonists, the forecastle was in front, the quarterdeck was in the back, and the half deck was between them, except on ships that had even more decks/levels on top.

It’s generally the lowest top of the ship that all the masts stick out of.

What that’s got to do with a Bird of Prey escapes me.

My guess is that somebody at ViaComm asked Okrand to translate “Half Deck” for someone who didn’t know what a half deck was, and Okrand, who probably ALSO doesn’t know what a half deck is, came up with a word-by-word translation without giving it as much thought as we do.

If I remember the poster — it’s at work and I’m at home, in quarantine — they were indicating something higher than the other deck and toward the rear, which would have more appropriately been called a quarterdeck, if they did want to make a parallel with old sailing ships.

charghwI’ vaghnerya’ngan

rInpa’ bomnIS be’’a’ pI’.

> On May 14, 2020, at 6:23 AM, mayqel qunen'oS <mihkoun at gmail.com> wrote:
> De'vID:
>> {bID yIH(mey)} "half of the tribbles"
>> {yIH{mey} bID} "the tribbles' halves"
>> {SuD bID yIHmey} "half of the tribbles are green"
>> (there are an equal number of {SuD} and {Doq} tribbles)
>> {SuD yIHmey bID} "the tribbles' halves are green"
>> (each tribble is {SuD} on one side and {Doq} on the other)
> ok, I understand this, thanks. But there's something which feels
> strange when we apply {bID} to singular nous, and I get the impression
> that the way it is to be applied, has to do with whether the end
> result makes sense. And perhaps this is the reason you wrote:
>> I would expect {choQ bID} to be something which is functionally not the same as a {choQ}.
> Because indeed, what would a "deck half" be ? It sounds like we have
> something which someone built, which is comprised of two halves, with
> only one of them being a deck. Or perhaps we have a half which is "of
> the deck kind". Strange indeed.
> Anyways, if it's not much trouble, please read the following example,
> and tell me whether you agree with my understanding of how {bID} works
> in conjunction with singular nouns.
> There's a pizza on the table; half of it has mushrooms and half has meat.
> If I say {bID pItSa' vISop}, then it means that I'll eat half of the
> pizza without specifying which half I'll eat. Perhaps I'll eat the
> mushroom half, perhaps the meat half, or perhaps I'll eat from both.
> What matters though, is that when I finish, half the amount of the
> pizza will be gone.
> If I say {pItSa' yav 'atlhqam bID vISop} then it means "I'll eat the
> mushroom half of the pizza".
> Do you agree with the above ?
> ~ mayqel qunen'oS
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