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

SuStel sustel at trimboli.name
Mon Sep 28 12:59:19 PDT 2020

On 9/28/2020 3:38 PM, Will Martin wrote:
> But in Klingon, {‘ach HoD, Hevetlh wIghoSchugh, veH tIn wI’el maH’e’} 
> we have the first person plural subject indicated by the prefix {wI-}, 
> with emphasis added by the explicit, uncommonly redundant pronoun 
> {maH}, and just to make sure that the pronoun was noticed, it was 
> marked with {-‘e’}

Well, no. The *maH* is there strictly so that we can hang the *-'e'* on it.

See, when we say that *-'e'* provides emphasis, what we really mean is 
that it provides a semantic meaning that doesn't exist without it: 
focus. *-'e'* on a subject or object means exclusivity. The *-'e'* is 
not just some vague sense of emphasis; it has a semantic meaning, just 
like *-Daq* has the semantic meaning of locative. *Duj* means /ship. 
/*DujDaq* means /in/on/at the ship./ *Duj'e'* means /the ship and not 
something else./

The *maH* is only there so that we can use *-'e'* on it to say /us and 
not someone else;/ it would be impossible to say that without using the 

> It makes sense to verbally emphasize the {-‘e’}, since it is basically 
> the equivalent of spitting after saying the word {taHqeq}. It’s making 
> sure that the listener knows that word was not just casually included 
> as a side note. That word is doing jumping jacks, waving signal flags, 
> firing off flares and screaming to be noticed as important.

No, it's just the fact that in a noun, syllables that end in *qaghwI'* 
are stressed. The way Vixis says *maH'e',* with stress on the *-'e',* is 
just the natural way to say the word. She doesn't scream it. You also 
stress a word this way when the *-'e'* is playing the role of topic, 
without emphasis: *'entepray' 'oH DoS'e'*/As for the target, it is 

> "Yo! The people heading into the Great Barrier right now? Those people 
> are WE! WE are heading into the Great Barrier! You! Me! All the rest 
> of the people on this ship. WE are heading into the Great Barrier. I’m 
> not talking about anybody else, here. I’m talking about US! Got that?"
> All that in one syllable. Yes, Klingon can be remarkably concise.

*bo'Dagh'a' Dalo'.* All the *-'e'* does is add "(not someone/something 
else)" to the meaning of the noun. This is a simple morpheme indicating 
grammatical focus. It just so happens that English does not have a 
morpheme that does the same thing. But you can approximate it by 
stressing the word instead. /But WE will enter the Barrier!/ In a sense, 
that's even more concise than the Klingon, as you haven't added any 
morphemes at all.


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