[tlhIngan Hol] Meaning of *ghaytanHa'*

Will Martin willmartin2 at mac.com
Thu Sep 16 07:12:43 PDT 2021


I was seeing {QapDI’} functioning as a time stamp, and as such, like the adverbial, it was one of those things at the beginning of the main clause. The precise sequence isn’t strictly defined. I haven’t noticed examples of other stuff, like time stamps, coming before adverbials, so I was expecting the adverbial to start the sequence, then the time stamp, then the main clause, with everything at the start of the sentence (adverbial and time stamp) applying to the main clause.

I’m guess {QapDI’ ghaytanHa’ SuvtaH} is valid. It just didn’t occur to me.

So, if {ghaytanHa’ QapDI’} is a dependent clause… “Unlikely, when he wins” becomes the time stamp for {SuvtaH}. 

And I become confused. It sounds more like “Unlikely, when he wins, he continues fighting.” So, he probably doesn’t continue fighting when he wins. So, I guess he quits fighting when he wins, right?

I don’t really see that as “When he unlikely wins…” and even less as “When he is unlikely to win…” Sorry. I just don’t see that. I could chop it up in a word salad and toss it into the air and pick out that meaning, if I really, really wanted to, but I can’t see it simply meaning that.

Let’s drop the {-Ha’} just to make it simpler.

{ghaytan QapDI’} “Likely, when he wins…” is not the same as “When he likely wins…” and I’m pretty sure the the former is the more typical interpretation.

I apologize for being dense here. I just don’t get that interpretation. The {-DI’} in combination with the {ghaytanHa’} just confuses me. It seems like it would be so much simpler to say it some other way more clearly.

> On Sep 16, 2021, at 9:32 AM, SuStel <sustel at trimboli.name> wrote:
> On 9/16/2021 9:11 AM, Will Martin wrote:
>> To be honest, when I see {ghaytanHa’ QapDI’ SuvtaH}, I read it as “It’s unlikely that he continues fighting when he wins.” In other words, he fights, then he wins, then he stops fighting.
> Adverbials generally appear to attach to individual clauses, so I don't know if this interpretation is possible. That is to say, to get your meaning, you'd need to say, QapDI', ghaytanHa' SuvtaH. But this touches upon questions of whether Klingon allows things like parenthetical insertions in the middle of sentences.
>> For your intended initial meaning, I’d say something more like {Qap’a’? SaHbe’. SuvtaH.} "Will he win? He doesn’t care. He’s always fighting."       
>> Remember that in Klingon, it is unnecessary to pack too much meaning into one sentence if it can be more clearly said broken out into multiple sentences, strung together by the thread of the story; the context shared by all the sentences.
> Okrand was also somewhat constrained by a verse structure. Unlike most of paq'batlh, the English original and the Klingon translation don't line up according to stanza in this section, showing some strain in trying to cover every sense in the original.
> In this case, however, I don't see too much information being packed in here inappropriately. If I may add some clarifying punctuation: ghaytanHa' QapDI', SuvtaH. When it is unlikely that he will win, he keeps fighting. In other words, he goes on fighting against the odds. It's all there, and it's in a fairly simple form already.
> -- 
> SuStel
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