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

De'vID de.vid.jonpin at gmail.com
Wed Feb 10 01:36:58 PST 2021

On Tue, 9 Feb 2021 at 17:06, Steven Boozer <sboozer at uchicago.edu> wrote:

> *From:* SuStel
> *Sent:* Tuesday, February 9, 2021 7:59 AM
> > It's a Maltz-said-so-special-phrase-so-shut-up-and-don't-generalize
> case. It is described in *The Klingon Way* as aberrant grammar.For those
> without a copy of *The Klingon Way* handy:
> *  QamvIS Hegh qaq law' torvIS yIn qaq puS*
>   Better to die on our feet than live on our knees. (ST6/TKW)
> (TKW p.95):  More literally, this is “Dying while standing is preferable
> to living while kneeling.”  The grammatical construction is a bit aberrant;
> one would expect {*QamtaHvIS}* and {*tortaHvIS}*. In proverbs,
> grammatical shortcuts are not uncommon. Even the Federation Standard might
> be considered somewhat incomplete. One would expect “*It is* better to
> die on our feet than *to* live on our knees.”

I don't read it as saying it's a
"Maltz-said-so-special-phrase-so-shut-up-and-don't-generalize case". The
above implies that this is the grammatical and expected sentence:
{QamtaHvIS Hegh qaq law' tortaHvIS yIn qaq puS}.

The grammar of the KGT sentence is only "a bit aberrant". It doesn't sound
to me like the corrected version is particularly extraordinary. In
particular, I don't see why this parallel wouldn't be grammatical:
{SuvtaHvIS batlh potlh law' yIntaHvIS tlhuH potlh puS} "Honour while
fighting is more important than breath while living" or "It is more
important to act honourably while we fight than to draw breath while we
live." I wouldn't put a {-lu'} on the two {-taHvIS} clauses, if only
because the KGT example doesn't either.

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