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

Will Martin willmartin2 at mac.com
Tue Feb 16 09:11:54 PST 2021

I think that SuStel has stated my position more clearly than I have. My point is that if a Klingon Replacement Proverb is a poor candidate to base an argument for an exceptional case of interpreting how a Klingon comparative works.

We have examples of the “scope” of stuff preceding a Klingon comparative encompassing the entire comparative. We have one case of two of these contexts preceding the two halves of a Klingon comparative, where the “scope” of each context is the half of the comparative that it precedes. Then we have this one example, which is somewhat cryptic where one is tempted to imagine that the “scope” of the context only applies to the first half of the comparative.

That’s a really weak argument for the idea that it’s generally okay to provide context exclusively for the first half of a comparative and not provide any contrasting context for the second half. It may be the case that this is true, but it very much falls short of providing justification for broad generalization.

At the very best, it could be interpreted as a poorly stated comparative that could have been easily improved by adding some kind of context-providing stuff before the second half of the comparative to make it clear that the previous context doesn’t apply to the second half, but even this is a stretch because it assumes an accurate translation of a Replacement Proverb that we don’t really understand all that well.

I don’t think we should look at that specific example and mimic it a lot, assuring ourselves that “See? This is how Okrand does it, so it must be perfectly fine to do it this way,” especially when it would be remarkably clearer if we didn’t, and the difference is so slight.

Maybe Okrand will make this clearer someday, but as they say in Rohan, “This is not that day."

charghwI’ vaghnerya’ngan

rInpa’ bomnIS be’’a’ pI’.

> On Feb 16, 2021, at 11:08 AM, SuStel <sustel at trimboli.name> wrote:
> On 2/16/2021 10:39 AM, De'vID wrote:
>> On Tue, 16 Feb 2021 at 16:18, SuStel <sustel at trimboli.name <mailto:sustel at trimboli.name>> wrote:
>> I think you're both assuming too much. You're assuming the expression cannot be analyzed in the normal way. De'vID is assuming that the English translation accurately reflects the meaning of the Klingon proverb. I don't think either position is clearly supportable. The Klingon sentence is odd, the English translation is odd, and no Klingon has explained it further.
>> I'll readily admit that I don't know what the English translation actually means. But I think *some* interpretation of the English translation has to accurately reflect the meaning of the Klingon proverb (assuming Dr. Okrand didn't completely mess up here). 
>> There's no reason to believe that the *grammar* of Replacement Proverbs is any different than normal sentences, is there? (Contrast this with toasts, for which we're told explicitly that they follow different grammatical rules.) 
> I see no reason why the grammar of replacement proverbs would be any different than normal sentences. I'm not the one arguing that. I'm just not assuming that the English translation is necessarily all that close to the meaning of the Klingon.
> Okrand often translates loosely, especially on the two language tapes. I think some examination of sticky sentences like this is warranted, but we should not rely too heavily on the English translation to tell us exactly what's happening when we encounter strange grammar. Especially when the grammar comes from the language tapes, which are riddled with errors. In the real world, this may just have been a bad English-to-Klingon translation.
> Sometimes it's enough to say, "Hmm, isn't that interesting?" and move on. I think this is one of those times.
> -- 
> SuStel
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