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

SuStel sustel at trimboli.name
Mon Sep 28 13:40:25 PDT 2020

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.


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