[tlhIngan Hol] expressing "especially"

nIqolay Q niqolay0 at gmail.com
Fri Oct 15 10:19:05 PDT 2021

On Fri, Oct 15, 2021 at 9:05 AM SuStel <sustel at trimboli.name> wrote:

> I don't think it works. This says *Aliens and REMANS (as opposed to
> anyone else) use it.* *-'e'* makes a subject or object exclusive
> participants in the verb,

I don't think this is necessarily true. which is why I suggested it. The
description in TKD is just

> This suffix emphasizes that the noun to which it is attached is the topic
> of the sentence. In English, this is frequently accomplished by stressing
> the noun (saying it emphatically) or by special syntactic constructions.
It says nothing explicit that *-'e'* is *only* used in the sense of "X and
nothing else".

Some of the glosses given in TKD do include an exclusive meaning:

>     {lujpu' jIH'e'} <I, and only I, have failed.>
>                     <It is I who has failed.>
>     {De''e' vItlhapnISpu'} <I needed to get the INFORMATION.>
>                            <It was the information (and not
>                            something else) that I needed.>
But there are also non-exclusive glosses listed. "I needed to get the
INFORMATION" doesn't necessarily imply that I didn't need anything else,
only that I'm emphasizing the information as something I need. If I needed
anything else, it's not important to this sentence. Showing contrast ("X
and not Y") is a common use of emphasis, and one that's easy to convey in a
quick gloss, so I suspect that's why some of the examples use a "X and not
something else" gloss, but I don't see a particular reason to assume that
*-'e'* *exclusively* means "X and nothing else". Other examples:

*DaHjaj SuvwI''e' jIH* (TKW) *"Today I am a warrior." *
The person saying this is presumably still other things (a Klingon, a
person, a son/daughter, etc.), but the focus of this sentence is the fact
that they're a warrior. The other things they are aren't relevant for the
sentence or the context at hand.

*qIbDaq SuvwI''e' SoH Dun law' Hoch Dun puS* (ST5) *"You would be the
greatest warrior in the galaxy."*
The grammar in this one is a little weird, since we haven't seen this kind
of construction elsewhere, but there's no obvious contrastive meaning here.
It's still possible for Klaa to be the best or most of some other category
besides "warrior"; it's just that Vixis is talking about warriors in this
sentence. "As for warriors, you would be the greatest in the galaxy."

*reH Hegh yoHwI'pu''e'* (TKW) *"Always it is the brave ones who die."*
The emphasis is on brave ones dying, but obviously the sentence can't mean
"The brave ones (and no one else) always die." Even cowards gotta go

There's also the use of *-'e'* with copula sentences, which are glossed in
TKD with "As for the X...", which doesn't imply exclusiveness. "As for the
commander, he is in his quarters" doesn't rule out the possibility of
others being in the commander's quarters. It just means that we're talking
about the commander.

Another longer quote from KGT (p. 23):

> The Morskan dialect, for example, does not put the suffix {-'e'} on the
> subject noun in a sentence translated with "to be" in Federation Standard
> (though the suffix is not missing in other contexts where it is used to
> focus attention on one noun rather than another within the sentence).
> Compare:
>      Morskan: {tera'ngan gha qama'.} ("The prisoner is a Terran.")
>      Standard: {tera'ngan ghaH qama''e'} ({tera'ngan,} "Terran"; {ghaH,}
> "he, she"; {qama',} "prisoner")
>      Morskan: {bIghha'Daq ghata qama'.} ("The prisoner is in the prison.")
>      Standard: {bIghHa'Daq ghaHtaH qama''e'.} ({bIghHa'Daq,} "in the
> prison"; {-taH,} "continuous")
> [...]
> {-'e'} added to {qama'} in the Morskan sentences would have its usual
> focusing function (the sentences would mean something like "It's the
> prisoner who's a Terran" and "It's the prisoner who's in the prison,"
> respectively), the same as it would have in sentences of other types. This
> grammatical device is not available to speakers of {ta' Hol} who, to speak
> grammatically, must use {-'e'} in sentences of this type whether wishing to
> call extra attention to the subject noun or not.

Nothing here implies that *-'e' *means "X and nothing else", or that the
subject is an exclusive participant in the verb, only that other possible
subjects are less relevant to the sentence.

Some uses of *-'e'* do have a clear "X and not something else" meaning. (*qun
qon charghwI'pu''e'* (TKW)* "History is written by the victors.**"* is
probably intended to mean "Victors (and nobody else) records history.") But
I think this determination has to be based on context, and isn't inherent
to the *-'e'* suffix.
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