[tlhIngan Hol] {neH} adverb with {pong} verb

Will Martin willmartin2 at mac.com
Sun May 2 08:38:51 PDT 2021

{neH} is remarkably exceptional.

As the second verb in a Sentence As Object (SAO) construction, it uniquely omits the pronoun {‘e’}, acting almost like it might have been a verb suffix (on the first verb in SAO), except that it needed a way to indicate who wants the first verb to happen. No other verb can be used as second verb in SAO without {‘e’}.

As an averbial, it is uniquely capable of modifying a noun. No other adverbial can be applied to a noun.

As an adverbial, it follows the noun or verb it modifies. No other adverbial does this.

In English, the word “only” can either mean “exclusively”, or it can mean, “merely, trivially, parenthetically, additionally”, and weirdly for an alien language, Klingon {neH} can be used in either of these two unrelated meanings for “only”.

The strange part about this mapping of both meanings of the adverbial is that in Klingon, when {neH} modifies a verb, it means “merely”, but when it modifies a noun, it means “exclusively”. Weirder still, the same can commonly be true in English, as in the difference between:

I only tapped him on the shoulder. It’s not a big deal. If he spun around, drew a weapon and shot me five times, that would be an unjustifiable overreaction.

I tapped him only on the shoulder. I didn’t tap him on the head. I didn’t tap him on the butt. I didn’t tap him on the nose. The only place I tapped him was the shoulder.

In the canon example, it follows {ponglu’}, a verb, not the implied {Qo’noS} or {juHqo’}. If the sentence had been {roD ‘oHvaD juHqo’ neH ponglu’}, it would have meant, “One usually calls it “home world”, exclusively.” In other words, one almost never uses the name “Kronos”, but instead usually calls it “home world”.

But since {neH} follows {ponglu’}, it can exclusively mean that the action of the verb {ponglu’} is trivial, parenthetical, or additional. You can call it Kronos, or you can call it home world. It doesn’t matter, really. {roD} implies that “home world” is probably more common, but nobody will be startled if you call it “Kronos” instead.

Also, you might interpret it to mean that you usually don’t call it “the home world, Kronos”. Either term is enough, alone. If you say, “home world”, nobody is going to ask, “Which home world do you mean?”

It’s like, if you were in England in the 1800s and you said, “We’re going on a tour of the empire”, nobody would ask you, “Which empire do you mean?” Everyone would know you mean the British Empire.

All Klingons know that the home world is Qo’noS.

charghwI’ ‘utlh
(ghaH, ghaH, -Daj)

> On May 2, 2021, at 8:11 AM, SuStel <sustel at trimboli.name> wrote:
> On 5/2/2021 7:17 AM, mayqel qunen'oS wrote:
>> Ca'Non sentence:
>> roD 'oHvaD juHqo' ponglu' neH
>> [Qo'noS] is usually referred to as simply "the homeworld"
>> I can't understand how this Ca'Non klingon sentence produces the english one; if I hadn't read the translation, I'd understand it as "it is merely called homeworld". Which in turn wouldn't make sense not even in english.
> Marc's translation is fine. Your problem stems from your non-native understanding of English and your focus on a single way to translate from Klingon.
>> What does "merely called" actually mean? Does it mean that something is "merely called" as opposed to something additional being happening to it? If I say "the officer merely hit the prisoner", then this means that he hit the prisoner without doing anything else to him; it means "he just hit the prisoner; he didn't for example execute him too".
>> So, what the jay' does "something is merely called" actually mean? Does it mean "we just call it something, without let's say having sex with it too"?
> If something is merely called something else, it means it is called that something else, but that something else is somehow simpler or less important than its other name.
> Referred to as simply means exactly the same thing as merely called.
> His name was Benjamin Buford Blue, but Forrest merely called him Bubba. This tells you that Bubba is a nickname with less stature than the full name.
> So when we have It is usually referred to as "the homeworld," it's saying that most people don't bother to say the correct name Kronos very much and instead use this informal name.
>> This Ca'Non sentence seems like 'oqranD wanted to use the adverb "simply", which of course is non-existent in the so-called warrior language,
> I doubt that Okrand wrote the English text. He just translated it.
>> and for lack of a better alternative, shoved up a {neH} after the {ponglu'}, while at the same time giving a different english translation than klingon sentence actually implies.
> No, the neH translates the simply correctly.
>> I could understand it if he wrote:
>> roD 'oHvaD juHqo' neH ponglu'
>> [Qo'noS] is usually referred to as only "the homeworld"
>> Meaning "Kronos is usually called only by the name of homeworld"; i.e. usually no other name is being used for Kronos, except "the homeworld".
> That's not what they're trying to express. They're saying that Klingons usually use a less formal name than the planet's actual name.
> -- 
> SuStel
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