[tlhIngan Hol] is 'op and 'op-noun construction singular or plural

Will Martin willmartin2 at mac.com
Thu Mar 4 13:35:35 PST 2021


I think {‘op} is used similar to {Hoch}, which is used like a number when preceding a noun or when standing alone, but expressing an undefined fraction of the whole when following a noun, similar to the way {Hoch} changes meaning from all members of a set when preceding a noun vs. all portions of the whole of a noun when following it.

To be honest, I think the more interesting question is whether {pagh} is singular or plural.

In English, the only singular number is one. Zero is plural. I understand that some other languages consider zero singular, like “one” because they see singular as “anything that isn’t more than one” while English considers plural to be “anything that isn’t one.”

I have zero dollars. I have one dollar. I have two dollars. My bank balance is minus one dollars.

This is weird in a way that Klingon might very well not mimic.

charghwI’ ‘utlh
(ghaH, ghaH, -Daj)



> On Mar 2, 2021, at 7:49 AM, mayqel qunen'oS <mihkoun at gmail.com> wrote:
> 
> Something which has troubled me repeatedly in the past was whether the {'op} (either used on its' own or as part of a noun-noun construction) should be treated as singular or plural.
> 
> Should we say {vIghro' legh 'op} or {vIghro' lulegh 'op}? Should we say {vIghro' legh 'op yaS} or should we say {vIghro' lulegh 'op yaS}?
> 
> The word {'op} was given as "some, an unknown or unspecified quantity". But what I can't understand with this definition is this:
> 
> Does the "some" refer to the "quantity" of the definition which follows after the comma, meaning "some quantity" (which would be singular), or is it to be understood on its' own, meaning things like "some (objects/people/etc)" which would be plural?
> 
> I wasn't able to decide, until I noticed the {'opleS}. Analyzing this word, we observe something interesting:
> 
> 'op =some, an unknown or unspecified quantity
> 
> leS = days from now
> 
> However..
> 
> 'opleS = one day, some day
> 
> The {'opleS} literally means "some, an unknown or unspecified quantity of days from now", but it is given as "one day, some day" (which is obviously singular).
> 
> Based on the above, perhaps the correct way to understand the {'op} is that its' "some" refers to the "quantity" meaning "some quantity" (which is singular), and it does not imply things like "some (objects/people/etc)" which would be plural.
> 
> So, perhaps the correct thing to say is {vIghro' legh 'op} and not {vIghro' lulegh 'op}, and {vIghro' legh 'op yaS} and not {vIghro' lulegh 'op yaS}.
> 
> However, another question comes to mind.. We want to say "some warriors are klingon". Should we write {tlhIngan chaH 'op SuvwI''e'}, or should we write {tlhIngan ghaH 'op SuvwI''e'}?
> 
> If the {'op SuvwI'} is singular, then the obvious choice would be {tlhIngan ghaH 'op SuvwI''e'}, which perhaps seems a little strange. On the other hand though, we *do* say {tlhIngan ghaH neghvam'e'}, so why would the {tlhIngan ghaH 'op SuvwI''e'} need to be wrong?
> 
> Now, perhaps one could argue, that by writing {'op SuvwI'} and treating it as singular, one could understand "some, an unknown or unspecified quantity of a warrior" meaning "just a part of him/his body".
> 
> However, we *do* have the following Ca'Non sentence:
> 
> qIvo'rIt pagh'e'
> qIvo'rIt toQDuj 'oH tlhIngan wo' Duj pagh'e'. ra' qarghan HoD. DujvamDaq tlhIngan nuH tu'lu'bogh pov law' Hoch pov puS 'ej DujvamDaq 'op SuvwI' tu'lu'bogh po' law' tlhIngan yo' SuvwI' law' po' puS.
> 
> K'Vort Class Pagh
> The Imperial Klingon Vessel Pagh is a K'Vort-class Bird-of-Prey under the command of Captain Kargan. It has the best weapons and some of the finest warriors in the Klingon fleet.
> 
> From this Ca'Non sentence we see, that saying {'op SuvwI'} is to be understood as "some warriors" and not as "some, an unknown or unspecified quantity of a warrior" meaning "just a part of him/his body".
> 
> Or perhaps it *could* mean something like that too, but at least not necessarily.
> 
> Anyways, I realize that since there are no Ca'Non answers to all these questions, no one can know for sure, but until we receive these answers (*if* we ever receive them..) I'll probably stick to the conclusions mentioned in this thread.
> 
> ~ Dana'an
> remain klingon
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