[tlhIngan Hol] {'e' qa'} "instead of" with the {qa'} bearing suffixes

SuStel sustel at trimboli.name
Thu Nov 18 06:17:22 PST 2021

On 11/18/2021 8:32 AM, Will Martin wrote:
> I won’t presume that this is not some new thing that canon suggests as 
> correct,

You should have presumed that, because that's what it is.


Canonical examples:

*'awje' vItlhutlh; HIq vItlhutlh 'e' qa'
*/I drink root beer instead of liquor./

*jIQam; jIba' 'e' qa'
*/I stand instead of sitting./

The *'e',* and the second verb if a repeat, are often dropped in 
everyday speech. You'd be likely to hear these as:

*'awje' vItlhutlh; HIq 'e' qa'
'awje' vItlhutlh; HIq qa'
jIQam; jIba' qa'

> 1. Making the second sentence of a Sentence As Object construction a 
> dependent clause is uncommon, surfing the edge of complexity limits of 
> the language. Add anything else in terms of complexity and 
> communication might suffer.

I agree that turning an entire sentence-as-object construction into a 
subordinate clause heads toward too much complexity, but given the 
relative simplicity of the rest of it, I don't think this reaches the limit.

*pu' DIlo'; yan DIlo' 'e' qa'chugh, maQap.*/
If we use phasers instead of swords, we'll win./

If the sentence-as-object construction were any more complicated, it 
would probably be too much for me to accept it stylistically. But I have 
no problem with this one.

> 4. This comes really close to the Irrealis, which is problematic in 
> Klingon. You are apparently trying to say, “If we WOULD replace swords 
> with phasers, then we WOULD succeed.” Klingon doesn’t do “would”.

This isn't that kind of irrealis; this is a simple conditional. As far 
as irrealis is concerned, this is no different than *bIjatlhHa'chugh, 
qaHoH*/If you say the wrong thing, I will kill you./

But Klingon /does/ do irrealis, using a special construction for 


It is illustrated with a canonical example:

*tlhIngan SoH net jalchugh, qagh DatIv
*/If you were a Klingon, you would enjoy gagh./

The difference between a conditional and a counterfactual is canonically 
illustrated thus:

*qaghwIj DaSopchugh, qaHoH
*/If you eat my gagh, I'll kill you./

*qaghwIj DaSop net jalchugh, qaHoH
*/If you were eating my gagh, I would kill you./

Notice how the counterfactual is /not/ indicated morphologically in 
Klingon. It is expressed as a conditional sentence-as-object, plus an 
indicative sentence. Where English says /would verb,/ Klingon just says 
/verb./ The /would/ comes from the /if one imagines that./

The fact that a standard grammatical construction, the counterfactual, 
consists of a subordinate sentence as object also casts doubt on claims 
that subordinate sentences as object are too complex to sustain.

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