[tlhIngan Hol] Beginner questions - SAO, SAS and pronouns

SuStel sustel at trimboli.name
Mon Sep 28 06:13:46 PDT 2020


On 9/28/2020 6:44 AM, Luis Chaparro Caballero wrote:
> 1. I have always thought that SAOs work as a 
> "two-sentence-construction" (TKD 6.2.5). But then, is there any 
> difference between these two sentences? Does the punctuation make a 
> difference in Klingon?
> paq Daje'pu' 'e' vISov.
> paq Daje'pu'. 'e' vISov.

/The Klingon Dictionary/ and subsequent sources do not specify any kind 
of punctuation requirements. They're entirely discretionary. These two 
sentences are effectively identical.


> 2. In this list I've also seen that when we use a period it's possible 
> not to use "'e'":
> paq Daje'pu'. vISov.
> Without "'e'" it's actually ambiguous: "vISov" can refer to "paq" or 
> to the whole sentence.

Ehhhh.... Technically, this may true, but it would be as awkward to say 
this as it is in English to say /You bought the book, I know it. /While 
*'e'* is indeed a pronoun, I think it's taking the "may drop a pronoun" 
rule a little too far. Its presence is essential.


> So we can make it clear if we use pronouns, right?:
> paq Daje'pu'. 'oH vISov. (I know the book).
> paq Daje'pu'. 'e' vISov. (I know that you have bought the book).

I would probably assume that the *'oH* does refer to the book, as you 
suggest.


> Pronouns help us to make it clear. But what if the sentence is not 
> ambiguous? What would be the difference between the 
> following three possibilities?
> bIlaDtaH 'e' vISov.
> bIlaDtaH. 'e' vISov.
> bIlaDtaH. vISov.

No difference between the first two because punctuation is not a "rule" 
in Klingon. The third is awkward as I explained above.


> In TKD 5.1 we can read pronouns can be used for emphasis or added 
> clarity. Maybe the difference between the last two sentences is only 
> that "'e' vISov" is emphatic ("I know THAT")?

No, explicitly using *'e'* is standard; it doesn't add any kind of 
emphasis or clarity. This is a good reason to think it can't be dropped 
like other pronouns.


> Anyway: What is the difference between using a pronoun for emphasis 
> and using the topic marker "-'e'"?

When you explicitly use a pronoun, you're making it clear that that's 
the pronoun you have in mind, or you're speaking extra-clearly to make 
sure you've been heard. If I say *HoD Duj vIlegh*/I see the captain's 
ship/ and then follow it up with *vIghov,* am I saying I recognize the 
captain or the ship? I can clarify by explicitly using a pronoun: *ghaH 
vIghov*/I recognize him/her/ or *'oH vIghov*/I recognize it./

When you use *-'e',* you're giving the noun grammatical focus: you're 
giving it an exclusive status. This noun, and no other, is the one I'm 
talking about. *HoD'e' vIghom*/I meet the CAPTAIN (not someone else)./

Note that this is different than when you use *-'e'* as a topic marker 
in pronoun-as-to-be sentences. *nuch ghaH Sogh'e'*/The lieutenant is a 
coward./ When used here, the meaning of *-'e'* isn't exclusivity, it's 
topic: /As for the lieutenant, he is a coward./ The topic of the 
sentence is the lieutenant, and what do we want to say about the 
lieutenant? He or she is a coward.


> 3. And what if the first sentence is intended to be the subject of the 
> second one?
> paq Daje'pu'. QaQ.

I would assume that the elided subject of *QaQ* is *paq.* You cannot 
have a sentence act as subject. This pair of sentences cannot mean /Your 
buying the book was good./

Another reason to think that you can't elide *'e'* as object.


> 4. And if a sentece is not ambiguous, and my assumption that pronouns 
> can be used for emphasis is right, how can we get the meaning "THAT is 
> good" (emphasis) if we have no pronoun that refers to a sentence and 
> can be used as subject?:
> bIlaDtaH. QaQ.
> So maybe we need a noun with "-'e'"?:
> bIlaDtaH. QaQ ngoDvam'e'.

You're on the right track. I'd probably use *wanI'* for this: *bIlaDtaH. 
QaQ wanI'vam'e'.*/You are reading. THAT (and not something else) is 
good./ But these are definitely two separate sentences in Klingon.


> 5. Anyway, is this possibility right?:
> QaQ. paq Daje'pu'. (That's good. You have bought the book).

Not correct, for the reasons above.

You don't want *QaQ* here, you want the exclamation *maj.*

*maj! paq Daje'pu'.*/Good! You have bought the book./

-- 
SuStel
http://trimboli.name

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