[tlhIngan Hol] do the filler words express the "asking hmm" too?

SuStel sustel at trimboli.name
Wed Mar 3 06:05:45 PST 2021

On 3/3/2021 7:58 AM, mayqel qunen'oS wrote:
> There are two types of "hmm".
> 1st type:
> What do you want to eat?
> hmm.. I'll have the qagh.
> 2nd type:
> So, what's it gonna be? hmm? will you eat the qagh?
> I think that we could say with certainty, that both {ghghgh} and 
> {Hu'ma/Hu'mI/Hu} express the 1st type of terran "hmm".
> But do they express the 2nd type too?

Merriam-Webster gives three senses of /hmm:/ (1) "used to express the 
action or process of thinking," (2) "used to emphasize that one has 
asked a question and is awaiting an answer," and (3) "used to request 
repetition or clarification of something just said."

Your first example is sense 1; your second example is sense 2.

MW defines both /um/ and /uh/ as "used to indicate hesitation."

Okrand likes *Hu'ma* and *ghghgh* to /um/ and /uh./

Therefore, I would work from the assumption that *Hu'ma* and *ghghgh* 
could only be used for your first example insofar as one is hesitating 
while they're thinking, but it would be an imperfect fit, because the 
Klingon words taken out of context do not imply pondering, while /hmm/ 
does. And I would assume that *Hu'ma* and *ghghgh* do not match senses 2 
or 3 of /hmm/ at all. That is, to me, the most obvious place to start.


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