[tlhIngan Hol] only spartan women give birth to real men

SuStel sustel at trimboli.name
Tue Nov 17 10:43:33 PST 2020

On 11/17/2020 1:09 PM, Will Martin wrote:
> While I understand that it’s common in English and perhaps other human 
> languages to answer a “Why?” question with a dependent clause starting 
> with “Because”, I’m curious as to whether or not we can assume the 
> same is true in Klingon.
> Likely, this is less of a grammar question than a cultural one, since 
> it’s obvious that you CAN do it. The question is more whether a native 
> Klingon speaker (in the imaginary world where they exist) would 
> receive such an answer with aplomb, or whether it would raise eyebrows 
> and sideways glances, like walking up to someone working at a desk, 
> putting out your hand for a handshake, yelling, {nuqneH!}
> One complete sentence version would be:
> {ja’chuqtaHvIS loDqoqpu’, jatlhlaHba’ *SIparta’ngan* be’.}
> And no, I don’t expect anyone to agree with me.

I think you're speculating on whether Klingons would utter a subordinate 
clause without using a main clause... and the answer is yes.

*qIrq vIjeylaHchugh...*/If I could defeat Kirk.../ (Captain Klaa, /Star 
Trek V/)
*lIchopbe'chugh ghewmey*/If the bugs do not bite you. (Power Klingon)/ 
(This one is even the direct answer to a question.)

And in the general case, we see instances where answers are shortened. 
/Conversational Klingon/ tells us we can shorten complete answers to 
just *HIja'* or *ghobe'.* We see people reading status reports in 
heading-content format like *jabbI'ID pItlh.* We see questions posed as 
statements, like *vaj Daleghpu'.* We see nouns used as commands, like 
*chuyDaH* and *HaSta.* We have noun exclamations, like *Qapla'* and 
*Ha'DIbaH.* We have sentences without verbs or pronouns, like *DIvI' 
neHmaH* and *DoS jonta' neH.* We get explanations without main verbs, 
like *bach Do', qaH.* We have nouns as questions, like *latlh?* To which 
the the answer is more nouns: *wa' tera'ngan je wa' romuluSngan.*

So we have lots and lots of reason to believe that Klingons use 
incomplete sentences when speaking to each other. We also know it's not 
impossible for Klingons to utter subordinate clauses without main 
clauses, and to use these clauses as answers to questions. We have far 
more examples of "formal" writing than we do of Klingons speaking to 
each other in normal language. I see no reason at all to restrict 
oneself to answering questions with full sentences, and I see no reason 
to single out *-mo'* in this regard.


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