[tlhIngan Hol] {je} "too" with negative meanings on the second sentence

Will Martin willmartin2 at mac.com
Wed Nov 10 08:05:28 PST 2021

I like the analysis here. It makes me wonder about related issues.

In English, the conjunctions “and” and “but” have identical meaning in terms of grammar and cold logic:

“I like you, but I don’t like your friend.”

“I like you, and I don’t like your friend.”

These are subjectively different, but logically identical. In both cases, I’m telling you two things. 

1. I like you. 

2. I don’t like your friend.

The thing that “but” introduces is a heightened sense of contrast.

In Klingon, the use of {je} as an adverbial (not as a noun conjunction) in canon suggests that it acts as a sort of context anchor to bind together two SEPARATE sentences, NOT connected with a conjunction. It suggests that the sentence with {je} is a kind of appendix to the first sentence. I finished the first sentence, but now, I realize there was something I wanted to add to it. Too late for a conjunction. I’ll create a new parallel sentence and add {je} so you know that it adds information to the previous sentence. Ignore the parallel parts. Pay attention to the new information.

So, while the problem example was presented as “Is there a problem with {je} being used with a negative verb?”, there seems to be a second problem with conjoining the two sentences with {‘ach} and also putting {je} at the end. The {je} becomes redundant, which is why the natural suggestion is to omit it.

So, what happens if you omit {‘ach} and make them two separate sentences?

yaS luHoHpu’. 
be’ luHoHpu’be’ je.

Then the problem becomes more obvious:

They killed the officer.
They also didn’t kill the woman.

Now, it sounds obviously weird, because the sentences are not sufficiently parallel. SuStel made this point quite well. I’m just making it a little more obvious, and digging into a parallel issue.

It’s interesting that {je} used this way to bind two grammatically separate sentences outside of grammatical construction parallels {‘ej}, which binds them grammatically. Meanwhile, we don’t have an outside-of-grammar linking word parallel to {‘ach}.

I want a persimmon.
I want whipped cream, too.

I smelled the cupcake.
I ate the cupcake, too.

I liked the persimmon.
I didn’t like the cupcake, however.

In Klingon, the only word for “however” is {‘ach} and it’s a conjunction, not an adverbial. We don’t have an adverbial that offers that sense of contrast that you seem to be seeking. Now is it more obvious why the {je} in your example was redundant with the {‘ach} and why {‘ach} was the word to keep and {je} was the word to omit?

That’s the nugget I was after when I started this. I just figured this out. Forgive the wandering to get to this point.

> On Nov 10, 2021, at 9:07 AM, SuStel <sustel at trimboli.name> wrote:
> On 11/10/2021 7:50 AM, mayqel qunen'oS wrote:
>> yaS luHoHpu', 'a be' luHoHpu'be' je
>> they killed the officer, but they didn't kill the woman too
>> Seemingly/apparently the English sentence sounds strange; but is there anything wrong with the Klingon one? Is there something wrong in using the {je} "too" this way?
> Based on how je is presented in The Klingon Dictionary, I don't think this is how it works. It appears to be used when you want to change one element of the OVS part of a sentence and compare it to the previous sentence.
> SoHvaD 'uQ wej vIqem.
> Dargh vIqem je.
> Conversational Klingon. The changed element is the food brought.
> jIghung.
> jIghung je.
> jI'oj.
> jI'oj je.
> Power Klingon. The changed element is the verb.
> 'ej ghIjpu' [tlhIngan may'Duj]
> nIteb ghIjpu' je [tlhIngan wo' Degh]
> Skybox SP1. The changed element is the thing doing the scaring.
> ghop luQan tajHommey.
> pe'laH je.
> Skybox SP2. The changed element is the verb.
> And so on. So I don't think you'd combine 
> yaS luHoHpu'
> and
> 'a be' luHoHpu'be' je
> in this way. Here, you're changing both the object and the verb.
> Just say yaS luHoHpu' 'a be' luHoHpu'be' They killed the officer but they didn't kill the woman. The 'a but handles the unexpectedness of the woman not also being killed. If you wanted to emphasize the exception, you could say something like yaS luHoHpu' 'a yIntaHbe' 'e' luchaw' They killed the man but they permitted the woman to live.
> -- 
> SuStel
> http://trimboli.name
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