[tlhIngan Hol] expressing "they are there"

Steven Boozer sboozer at uchicago.edu
Wed Feb 17 12:40:08 PST 2021

I couldn't find any examples of a pronoun-as-verb followed by a pronoun, only nouns - as SuStel I believe pointed out - but I did find two comments in my notes which support Lieven's point:

  Okrand communicated privately with members of the KSRP that pronouns (being a subset of nouns) could indeed be used with stative verbs. Thus, {SoH po' law' jIH po' puS} is correct. (HQ 4.2:3)

  "Pronouns may be used as nouns, but only for emphasis or added clarity." (TKD 52)

I agree with him that  {DujDaq maHtaH maH'e'} is legal, especially in a pointed contrast.  E.g.

   may'DujDaq maHtaH maH'e' 'ach tengchaHDaq tlhIHtaH tlhIH'e'.
   It is WE who are in on the battlecruiser; YOU on the other hand 
   are on the space station.

While strictly speaking legal, it may well be extremely rare.  In fact, other than {lujpu' jIH'e'} I found only one other example of {-'e} attached to a pronoun (albeit without a pronoun-as-verb) in Vixis's rather panicky warning to Klaa in ST5:

  'ach HoD, Hevetlh wIghoSchugh veH tIn wI'el maH'e' !
  But Captain, that course will take *US* into the [Great] Barrier as well! 

But rather than argue as to whether it's grammatical, we should ask whether it's acceptable.  This could well be considered a case of {pabHa'} to "misfollow the rules" (discussed in KGT pp. 176-189 passim).

(TKD, introduction):  It should be remembered that even though the rules say "always" and "never," when Klingon is actually spoken these rules are sometimes broken. What the rules represent, in other words, is what Klingon grammarians agree on as the "best" Klingon.

(Okrand, st.k 11/1997):  Speakers who do this seem to be aware that they are breaking the rules, so they are doing it for rhetorical effect. 


----------------------------------------Original Message----------------------------------------
From: Lieven L. Litaer

Am 17.02.2021 um 18:05 schrieb De'vID:
> Read the part in TKD 6.3 where it says "In the above examples, the 
> subjects are pronouns. If the subject is a noun, it follows the 
> third-person pronoun...". The fact that pronouns and nouns are treated 
> differently here rules out your substitution.

That is all correct. But I do not see a strict rule saying that it is "not possible" to do what mayqel suggested. The rule only says what to do when the the subject is a noun. I still believe that when we apply the rule described in chapter 3.3.5 talking about emphasis, mayqel's suggestion might work.

All just theoretically, but if you really take things exactly as written, that chapter also says. (upper case added for emphasis)

"This suffix emphasizes that the NOUN to which it is attached is the topic of the sentence. In English, this is frequently accomplished by stressing the NOUN [...]

And then, the first given example uses a PRONOUN.

   {jIlujpu' jIH'e'}
   "I, and only I, have failed."
   "It is I who has failed."

So, in this case, pronouns and nouns are NOT treated differently. o_O

- - - - -

I read {DujDaq maHtaH maH'e'} as an emphasis as the English "WE are in the shuttle." And I do not see where it breaks a rule.

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