[tlhIngan Hol] Relative Clauses vs. Question Words

SuStel sustel at trimboli.name
Mon Nov 9 09:53:12 PST 2020

On 11/9/2020 12:20 PM, Will Martin wrote:
> So, in English, we would instead tend to say, “I am the person who 
> said that Klingon is verb-centric,” using the word “who” as a relative 
> pronoun, instead of as a question word, though in other contexts, this 
> is a question word.

In English, the part of speech of the word /who/ is /pronoun./ You might 
use it relatively in clauses to stand in for a stated or implied 
antecedent /(I know who said that)/, or you might use it to stand in for 
an answer /(Who said that?)/, but it always works as a pronoun.

> In Klingon, we might say {tlhIngan Hol jatlhlu’DI’, wot potlh law’ 
> Hoch potlh puS. jatlhboghpu’ nuv wa'DIch jIH.} That would use the 
> Relative Clause to explain that the first person who said it was me.

Because Klingon has a pair of pronouns that specifically stand in only 
for antecedent sentences, we can be pretty sure that the question words 
*nuq* and *'Iv,* which stand in for answers (and hence are also 
pronouns) can't stand in for antecedents. (And Okrand has said they 
can't.) Thus, they cannot create relative clauses. I think *nuqDaq* can 
also be considered a pronoun.

*tlhIngan Hol lughatlh wot 'e' vIjatlh jIH'e'*/It was I who said that 
verbs dominate the Klingon language./


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