[tlhIngan Hol] expressing "especially"

SuStel sustel at trimboli.name
Fri Oct 15 11:04:10 PDT 2021

On 10/15/2021 1:19 PM, nIqolay Q wrote:
> 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".

I didn't say "and nothing else"; I said "as opposed to anyone 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.

The meaning of the capital letters is explained in the very next line: 
/It was the information (and not something else) that I needed./

> 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:

I was also careful to say that the exclusivity interpretation applied 
when *-'e'* was on a subject or object. When *-'e'* is on a subject or 
object outside of a relative clause, Okrand always uses it to mean "X 
and nothing else" or "X instead of something else."

When *-'e'* is used in a copula, on the other hand, it has the meaning 
of topic. It marks what the sentence is all about, not exclusivity. This 
is also demonstrated in the examples:

*puqpu' chaH qama'pu''e'* and *pa'DajDaq ghaHtaH la''e'*//are said to be 
translatable as /As for the prisoners, they are children/ and /As for 
the commander, he is in his quarters./ We don't usually talk like that 
in English, so /The prisoners are children/ and /The commander is in his 
quarters /are simpler translations, but in the Klingon the topic-ness of 
those final nouns remains.

> *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.

Copula. *-'e'* marks the topic. It's in a nonstandard syntax, but it's 
still basically saying, /As for warriors, that is me./

> *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."

Not a subject or object. It marks a topic, not exclusivity.

> *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 sometime.

But *-'e'* doesn't mean ONLY the brave ones all the time. That would be 
*neH.* *-'e'* marks that the noun is exclusive to the sentiment being 
expressed, not that the exclusivity is generally true for all reality. 
/Always the brave ones die, as opposed to anyone else. /Others may die, 
but only the brave ones die /always./

> 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.

No, that's topic. *-'e'* has multiple functions in different contexts. 
Based on all examples,

*-'e'* on subjects or objects outside of relative clauses implies 
exclusivity (focus).

*-'e' *in a relative clause implies head-nounness.

*-'e'* in copulas or in a noun phrase hanging out in the beginning of a 
sentence implies topic.

> "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.

I never said it does.

> 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",

I never said it does.

> 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.

Based on all our examples, the contexts appears to be the three 
situations I listed above. And I was careful to specify that I was only 
talking about the first one.

*lulo' novpu' rIymuSnganpu''e' je.*

*-'e'* used on a subject not in a relative clause. Aliens use it, and 
Remans (as opposed to others) also use it. The two concepts don't go 
together. If you're expressing something about Remans but not expressing 
it about others *(rIymuSnganpu''e'),* then you can't also express it 
about aliens in general *(novpu').*

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