[tlhIngan Hol] expressing "they are there"

SuStel sustel at trimboli.name
Wed Feb 17 13:18:06 PST 2021

On 2/17/2021 3:40 PM, Steven Boozer wrote:
> 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.

It does not mean this. If it's allowed, it means /As for us, we are on 
the battle-cruiser, but as for you, you are on the space station./

The *-'e'* on the subject of a copula marks it as the topic, not as the 
focus. In your translation, you've used focus instead of topic.

I agree that doing this does not break any written rules. Pronouns can 
substitute for nouns. But the resulting sentences don't mean what 
everyone is claiming they mean. To get the meaning you're claiming would 
require a pronouncement from Okrand.

> 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!

This is perfectly legal and is correctly translated. In basic sentences 
(not copulas or relative clauses), using *-'e'* marks the noun or 
pronoun for focus. /But captain, that course will take US (forget that 
other ship; I'm focusing on US) into the Great Barrier as well!/ We know 
that nouns and pronouns are treated equally in this case, because the 
very concept is demonstrated for us with a pronoun: *jIlujpu' jIH'e'* 


> 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.

I agree that the important question is whether it's acceptable, not 
grammatical. Since we have no evidence that any Klingon says things like 
this, we can't use the *pabHa'* argument to justify it. That discussion 
is about how Klingons break the rules, not how to justify our own use of 
dodgy acceptability.

Let's ask a more general question. Instead of /they are there,/ how 
would you say /He is the captain?/

Naturally, the answer is *HoD ghaH.* But what's to stop someone from 
taking this new argument and insisting that you can say *HoD ghaH 
ghaH'e'?* Is that really the right way to translate /He is the captain?/ 
I don't think so. *tlhIngan maH maH'e'? 'Iv SoH SoH'e'?*

What about *meHDaq meHDaq HoD ghaHbogh ghaH meHDaq HoD ghaHbogh 
ghaH'e'?* This means /He who is the captain on the bridge is he who is 
the captain on the bridge on the bridge./ Right? It follows all the 
rules. *meHDaq HoD ghaHbogh ghaH* /he who is the captain on the bridge/ 
is a relative clause, which acts as a noun X and can be substituted into 
the sentence wherever a noun might go, and the head noun is a pronoun so 
it acts as the pronoun-as-to-be. There's no rule that says this is wrong...


-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.kli.org/pipermail/tlhingan-hol-kli.org/attachments/20210217/4477cacb/attachment-0004.htm>

More information about the tlhIngan-Hol mailing list