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

Will Martin willmartin2 at mac.com
Mon Sep 28 13:34:08 PDT 2020

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.

charghwI’ vaghnerya’ngan

rInpa’ bomnIS be’’a’ pI’.

> On Sep 28, 2020, at 1:18 PM, SuStel <sustel at trimboli.name> wrote:
> On 9/28/2020 12:11 PM, Luis Chaparro Caballero wrote:
>> ...But then I'm not sure if I understand the sentence in "Star Trek Discovery":
>> tlhIngan maH. taHjaj.
>> Isn't the subject of "taHjaj" the sentence "tlhIngan maH"? Something like: "It may endure, that we are Klingons", or "Our being Klingons may endure"? What is otherwise the subject of "taHjaj"? Shouldn't we use here some sort of noun, like in "paq Daje'pu'. QaQ wanI'vam." I'm probably missing something important, sorry!
> This sentence is not canonical Klingon — Okrand didn't write or approve it — so I wouldn't worry too much about it. I've heard Qov explain her thinking behind it, but I can't quite remember what she said about it. I'm pretty sure she said it wasn't meant to be interpreted as a sentence-as-subject. The sentence is also meant to be a slogan, not formally grammatical Klingon. I don't think it's even meant to be considered as two completely separate sentences. We don't even know for sure what the elided subject actually is. Is this Clipped Klingon? So many questions...
> This was my speculation on it in that thread: http://lists.kli.org/pipermail/tlhingan-hol-kli.org/2018-February/007284.html <http://lists.kli.org/pipermail/tlhingan-hol-kli.org/2018-February/007284.html>
> -- 
> SuStel
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