[tlhIngan Hol] "The Duke yet lives that Henry shall depose..."

Lieven L. Litaer levinius at gmx.de
Fri Jul 16 22:56:56 PDT 2021

Am 17.07.2021 um 01:05 schrieb De'vID:
> If you're not familiar with Shakespeare, the sentence is ambiguous. It
> can be interpreted to mean "The Duke, whom Henry will overthrow, is
> still alive" or "The Duke, who will overthrow Henry, is still alive".
> I don't know what Klingon rank got mangled into "Duke" in English.

I think that in "Much Ado About Nothing", they translated "Duchess" as
{qumwI'} "governor, one who governs." (of course, that's not canon)

> what's the grammatical structure that allows for this ambiguity in the
> original Klingon?

I first thought this is the typical {-bogh} ambiguity:

{yIntaH HenrI' HoHlaHbogh qumwI'.}
But I see that's a different kind of ambiguity.

Since the English version is tricking its grammar, I would also do it in
Klingon. Maybe like this:

{yIntaH qumwI''e' HenrI' HoHlaHbogh.}

This is not grammatical, but it has two ways to analyze:

1. If you correct the word order, you get
    {qumwI''e' HoHlaHbogh HenrI'.}
    "the duke whom Henry can kill"

2. if you regard only the second part of the sentence
    {HenrI' HoHlaHbogh}
    "who can kill Henry", preceded by the marked head noun, so
"The duke, he can kill Henry"

Yes, I know, it's cheating, but that's what Shakespeare also did.

Lieven L. Litaer
aka the "Klingon Teacher from Germany"

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