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

Will Martin willmartin2 at mac.com
Wed Feb 10 09:23:04 PST 2021

In the canon example {qIbDaq SuvwI’’e’ SoH Dun law’ Hoch Dun puS}: 

The suffix {-‘e’} lets you know that everything being said happens with the filter that you are talking about warriors in the galaxy. That is what extends the comparison to both sides of the comparison.

As for warriors in the galaxy, you are the most wonderful. Maybe there are more wonderful warriors somewhere else, but the bounds of this comparison falls within the topic of the whole sentence, which is warriors in the galaxy.

This is not grammatically similar to {reH latlh qabDaq qul tuj law’ Hoch tuj puS}, since there is no {-‘e’} but I’d argue that it would be normal to interpret the locative to apply to the entire comparison. My reasoning is that the normal comparative is dirt simple:

X [adjectival] law’, Y [adjectival] puS. 

The superlative is similar, replacing X or Y with {Hoch}.

There are extensions of this grammatical construction, but each one of them is a little bit special. The best exceptions are the least special, requiring the least mental stretching to interpret.

The simplest is to preface the entire comparison, as in the two examples considered up to this point:

[Context for the comparison that would appear at the beginning of a normal sentence] [Comparison].

Slightly more special would be:

[Context for the first side of the comparison] [First side of the comparison] [Context for the second side of the comparison] [Second side of the comparison].

It’s okay to have a sentence that is that second degree of special, but it’s not really so common that it is sufficiently anticipated that if there is no second context given, one would assume that the context applied only to the first half.


{juHlIjDaq SoH Sub law’, juHDajDaq SoH Sub puS.}

You are bolder at your house than you are at his house.

If I just said:

{juHlIjDaq SoH Sub law’ ghaH Sub puS}.

At your house, you are bolder than he is.

Why would you expect this example to mean “You are bolder in your house than he is [perhaps even outside of your house],”? The context of the comparison is “in your house”.

There is no reason to anticipate an omitted context for the second half of the comparison. For that, I would have said:

{juHlIjDaq SoH Sub law’ Dat ghaH Sub puS.}

If you give one scope, that stretches to the whole comparison. If you give a second scope, then the context has significant meaning for the comparison, because it’s really the two contexts that are being compared.

Does this make sense to you?

charghwI’ vaghnerya’ngan

rInpa’ bomnIS be’’a’ pI’.

> On Feb 10, 2021, at 7:10 AM, De'vID <de.vid.jonpin at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Wed, 10 Feb 2021 at 11:38, Will Martin <willmartin2 at mac.com <mailto:willmartin2 at mac.com>> wrote:
> Perhaps a better translation for you would be, “The hottest fire is on someone else’s face.” Don’t try to logically figure out what {Hoch} is doing. It’s just the idiom Klingon uses to express a superlative. 
> Yes, but the issue is: what is the scope of the superlative? In {reH latlh qabDaq qul tuj law' Hoch tuj puS}, if {latlh qabDaq} applies to the entire comparison that follows (i.e., the superlative is within its scope), then what the sentence says is "On someone else's face, the fire is the hottest (hotter than anyone else on their face)." The intended meaning seems to be, "The fire on someone else's face is the hottest (than everything, including the fire on your face or my face)". That is, the {latlh qabDaq} seems to be modifying not the entire comparison, but only the first part of it.  Compare this to {qIbDaq SuvwI''e' SoH Dun law' Hoch Dun puS}, where the {qIbDaq SuvwI''e'} applies to the entire comparison.
> It's a similar thing to {Qam[taH]vIS Hegh qaq law' tor[taH]vIS yIn qaq puS}. The {Qam[taH]vIS} applies to the first half, and the {tor[taH]vIS} applies to the second half. There seems to be some unexplained grammar that allows the verb of quality in each half of the comparison to be modified independently.
> -- 
> De'vID
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