[tlhIngan Hol] law' puS with the -taHvIS and type-9 clauses preceding each element

Steven Boozer sboozer at uchicago.edu
Tue Feb 9 09:59:43 PST 2021

Actually we do have a bit of liberty to play with it.  Although there are no other examples of {-taHvIS} in a law’/puS formula – aberrant or otherwise – you can certainly add an introductory clause (using a Type 9 suffix) before the comparison proper.  Here are Okrand’s examples with such clauses marked with angle brackets:

< tlhutlhmeH > HIq ngeb qaq law' bIQ qaq puS
Drinking fake ale is better than drinking water. (TKW)

< jonlu'meH > wo'maj pop tIn law' Hoch tIn puS
Our Empire's highest bounty has been placed on his head. (ST5 notes)

< noH ghoblu'DI' > yay quv law' Hoch quv puS
In war there is nothing more honorable than victory. (TKW)

< tlhIngan wo' yuQmey chovlu'chugh > Qo'noS potlh law' Hoch potlh puS
The principal planet of the Klingon Empire, Qo'noS... (S27)

< cha’ DISmo’ > jIH qan law’ SoH qan puS
I'm two years older than you. (Lieven < Okrand, 7/25/2016)

< cha’ ’ujmo’ > jIH woch law’ SoH woch puS
I'm two 'ujes taller than you. (Lieven < Okrand, 7/25/2016)

< reH latlh qabDaq > qul tuj law' Hoch tuj puS
The fire is always hotter on someone else's face. (PK)

< qIbDaq SuvwI''e' > SoH Dun law' Hoch Dun puS
You would be the greatest warrior in the galaxy. (ST5)

< DujvamDaq tlhIngan nuH tu'lu'bogh > pov law' Hoch pov puS
  ‘ej < DujvamDaq 'op SuvwI' tu'lu'bogh > po' law' tlhIngan yo'
   SuvwI' law' po' puS
It [IKC Pagh] has the best weapons and some of the finest warriors
   in the Klingon fleet.  (S7)

So to re-cast your first example, I would see nothing wrong with:

  Suvlu'taHvIS batlh potlh law' yIn potlh puS       [or]
  Suvlu'taHvIS batlh potlh law' tlhuH potlh puS

Fortunately here we have the homophonous noun/verb pairs {yIn} and {tlhuH}.


From: mayqel qunen'oS

[…]  could we write something like the following?

  Suvlu'taHvIS batlh potlh law' yInlu'taHvIS tlhuH potlh puS
  honor while fighting is more important than breath while living

or maybe even:

  SuvchoHlu'DI' batlh potlh law' yInchoHlu'DI' tlhuH potlh puS
  as soon as someone begins to fight honor is more important
  than breath as soon he begins to live

nIqolay Q:
> But that grammar has never been elaborated on and we have no other
> examples, so it's probably best not to mess too much with it.

Yes, indeed. But it's truly a pity though.. With the law'/puS construction being rigid the way it is, I wish we were given the liberty to play with it, even if that meant having the freedom to place a simple type-9 clause before the {puS} part.

~ Dana'an
I love you maltz
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