[tlhIngan Hol] nuq'e' / 'Iv'e'

André Müller esperantist at gmail.com
Fri Nov 20 08:14:15 PST 2020

Thanks for the explanation and the other example.
When I start out from the potential answer *DevwI' ghaH Qugh'e'*, this is a
sentence that says something about Kruge. *As for Kruge (whom we have been
talking about), he is the leader.* Kruge (TOP) would be the old
information, and *DevwI' ghaH* would be the new information. But if I
remember right, Uhura wasn't asking about a particular Klingon man, but
asked the crowd to identify their leader, or for the leader to step
forward. In that situation, a logical answer would be *Qugh ghaH DevwI''e'*.
*As for our leader, it/he is Kruge*, acknowledging that the existence of a
leader is a known or assumed fact in Uhura's question. Personally, in her
place I would have asked *'Iv ghaH DevwI''e'*.

So while I can accept that the question words just replace the expected
noun in the answer, that just shifts the problem to there: They were
talking about the assumed leader, not about Kruge / that particular Klingon
who I think stepped out of the crowd and took off his helmet. In such a
situation, I could imagine Kruge being focussed, but not topicalized. *Oh,
KRUGE, just him, he is the leader.*

I think it's similar with the PK sentence about the dish. Wasn't it a human
visitor on Kronos, who got served some food, probably points at it and asks
what that is? In that case, the old information would be the food (seen or
known by both interlocutors), and the new information would be the name of
the dish. As for this food, what's it? And the answer would be: *roqegh'Iwchab
'oH Sojvetlh'e'* (or whatever it was in PK). If the answer was *Sojvetlh
'oH roqegh'Iwchab'e'* (implied as an expected answer by the question in
PK), then this sounds like the question asked would have intended: *So,
Rokeg Blood Pie, you know... which one of these is it?* Such a dialogue
makes only sense to me if the talk was about Rokeg Blood Pie even before
the food was served... basically with the waiter picking up the topic from
before and saying: *Remember the Rokeg Blood Pie we talked about before?
Well, that's that dish over there!* (pointing to it).

Maybe I am overanalyzing this, but the only way I can explain it is that
sentences of the type *X 'oH Y'e'* are another category and there the *-'e'*
does not necessarily mark topic or focus, but just the subject, which in
questions then can be either the question word or the old information about
which is asked. If that's true, then would *DevwI' ghaH 'Iv'e'* and *'Iv
ghaH DevwI''e'* mean exactly the same, and imply the same?
In this hypothetical case, since their leader is Kruge and Kruge is the
only leader, presumably, there would not be a perceived difference. But
when asking about cats, then it'd be quite different: *Ha'DIbaHmey bIH
vIghro'mey'e'* = *As for cats, they are animals*. A logical and correct
thing to say. But: *vIghro'mey bIH Ha'DIbaHmey'e' *= *As for animals, they
are cats*. Without context, this wouldn't be right, as there are many kinds
of animals. It could only be understood as asking about a particular group
of animals (*"the animals"*, perhaps pointed at or talked about before).

— André (aka *Vortarulo*)

Am Fr., 20. Nov. 2020 um 16:29 Uhr schrieb SuStel <sustel at trimboli.name>:

> On 11/20/2020 10:26 AM, André Müller wrote:
> *Discord*-Daq *«-'e'»* mojaq wIrIchtaHvIS lo'meyDaj vIbuS. qen QIj SuStel
> 'ej meqqu'mo' ghaH, De'wI'wIjDaq mojaqvam QIjbogh ghItlh'e' vIpol. 'ach DaH
> SuStel latlhpu' joq vIghelnIS.
> mu'tlheghDaq *«'oH, ghaH, bIH, chaH»* lo'lu'chugh SeSorDaq *«-'e'»*
> chelnISlu' net Sov. ghantoH: *«Ha'DIbaH 'oH vIghro''e'.»* qay'be'.
> ghellu'chugh jaSHa' chelnISlu'. ghantoH: *«nuq 'oH vIghro''e'?»* qay'be'
> je.
> 'ach reH mu'tlheghmeyvetlhDaq *De' ngo'*Daq ngam mojaqvam, qar'a'? not
> De' ngo''e' 'oS ghelbogh mu' (*«'Iv, nuq»*), qar'a'? vaj tlhIngan Hol
> pabHa' bIvlaw' mu'tlheghvam: *«Ha'DIbaH 'oH nuq'e'?»*
> 'ach *«Hov leng: maQmIgh»* (STID) HaStamuchDaq Qoy'lu': *«DevwI' ghaH
> 'Iv'e'?»* ‘Who is the leader?’ — vaj latlh lo' ghaj'a' mojaqvam?
> *Short version in English:*
> In *be*-sentences *-'e'* marks the subject, which SuStel explained as one
> of the TOPIC uses of the suffix. Topic means that it marks old information,
> so I concluded logically that question words like *nuq* and *'Iv* cannot
> be marked by *-'e'*. But there is a sentence in STID, *«DevwI' ghaH
> 'Iv'e'?»* ‘Who is the leader?’ Is the usage of *-'e'* in *be*-sentences a
> different (fourth) usage that is neither topic, focus, nor head-marking in
> a relative clause? Or is it perhaps focus just in this one example after
> all? Or can we dismiss it saying that Uhura's Klingon isn't quite perfect
> and native-like and she made a mistake here (I believe she said this
> sentence)?
> There's also *Sojvetlh 'oH nuq'e'* in *Power Klingon.*
> *'Iv* and *nuq* are pronouns that stand in for the answer. If the answer
> is *DevwI' ghaH Qugh'e'** Kruge is the leader,* then the question of the
> leader's identity is *DevwI' ghaH 'Iv'e'?* Don't worry about the required
> topic marker in the question version; it's just there because it's required
> in the answer.
> --
> SuStelhttp://trimboli.name
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