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

Will Martin willmartin2 at mac.com
Mon Sep 28 13:48:16 PDT 2020


I thought the example was from Star Trek: Discovery. Is that not canon?

charghwI’ vaghnerya’ngan

rInpa’ bomnIS be’’a’ pI’.

> On Sep 28, 2020, at 4:40 PM, SuStel <sustel at trimboli.name> wrote:
> 
> On 9/28/2020 4:34 PM, Will Martin wrote:
>> tlhIngan maH. taHjaj.
>> 
>> The first sentence obviously means “We are Klingons.” Given that “we” are plural, it’s obvious that the Klingons that we are — are also plural.
>> 
>> The second sentence? Since the subject is not first person plural, we’re not saying, “May we endure.” It’s third person. Singular? Plural? Given context, I’d say plural. 
>> 
>> So, what third person plural noun were we just given in context? “Klingons”.
>> 
>> “May Klingons endure!”
>> 
>> Our wish is not merely that WE endure, but that all Klingons endure.
>> 
>> It’s stylistically appropriate to omit the second instance of the noun {tlhIngan}, though it would not be in any way inappropriate to include it. It’s just a matter of personal style. TKD tells us that repeating a noun in a situation like this is not considered wrong, yet a lot of canon examples suggest that the omission is also not in any way wrong.
>> 
>> So, “We are Klingons. May Klingons endure!”
>> 
>> It’s got nothing to do with the pronoun {‘e’} or with any attempt at *Sentence As Subject*, which is not a legal grammatical construction in Klingon. We’re just saying two different things about Klingons:
>> 
>> 1. We are members of their race.
>> 
>> 2. We wish them to continue/endure.
> That's one possible interpretation. Here's another: it's Clipped Klingon, short for tlhIngan maH. mataHjaj!
> 
> And yet another: a noun has elided: tlhIngan maH. taHjaj ghu'vam!
> 
> Or a more specific one: tlhIngan maH. taHjaj wo'!
> 
> Or maybe this is an example of a verb whose subject is just so well understood that it's never actually stated, like when a Klingon feels water falling from the sky and says SIS. What is the subject of SIS? Nothing specific, but we understand the sentence all the same.
> 
> The point is we don't KNOW exactly what the grammar of this non-canonical sentence is, so we shouldn't go developing our understanding of grammar on it.
> 
> -- 
> SuStel
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