[tlhIngan Hol] using ordinals on their own

Will Martin lojmitti7wi7nuv at gmail.com
Fri Apr 29 08:59:29 PDT 2022

This opens up the long argued topic of whether Relative Clauses in Klingon are used to identify an individual, like “The wind that shakes the barley”, which identifies a specific wind, vs. “The wind, which shakes the barley”, which speaks about the wind in general and lets you know parenthetically that wind shakes barley, among other activities. English gives you mechanisms to identify the difference. The Relative Pronoun “that” is used without the Relative Clause being offset with commas when the clause identifies an individual, and the Relative Pronoun “which” is used, with the Relative Clause bounded by commas for a parenthetical comment about the Head Noun.

Klingon doesn’t give us any mechanism for which type of Relative Clause is intended, and we argue over canon, trying to figure out if it’s just one or the other, or both with no way of knowing which any given instance is intended.

Maybe this has been resolved? I don’t remember.


charghwI’ ‘utlh
(ghaH, ghaH, -Daj)

> On Apr 29, 2022, at 9:22 AM, Iikka Hauhio <fergusq at protonmail.com> wrote:
> I believe that wa'DIch can be used as a noun. However, I'm not sure it means what you think it means in maghwI' ghaH Haw'bogh wa'DIch'e'. I think it means more like "The first is a traitor, and also flees.", ie. that it's not talking about the first to flee, just about a first, and that first flees.
> Iikka "fergusq" Hauhio
> ------- Original Message -------
> On Friday, April 29th, 2022 at 16.10, SuStel <sustel at trimboli.name> wrote:
>> On 4/29/2022 8:03 AM, D qunen'oS wrote:
>>> Suppose I write:
>>> maghwI' ghaH Haw'bogh wa'DIch'e'
>>> the first who flees is a traitor
>>> Would it be correct?
>> Here is the evidence in favor:
>> 1. TKD flat out tells us "Numbers are used as nouns." Ordinals are numbers. Therefore, it is not unreasonable to suppose that ordinals can be used as nouns.
>> 2. The word cha'DIch is used as a noun to refer to one's "second" during legal proceedings when the accused is not allowed personal combat.
>> 3. paq'batlh uses cha'DIch as well as the other ordinals from wa'DIch through vaghDIch as adverbials, so it is canonically known that the ordinals can act in ways other than just modifying nouns.
>> Given these, I have no qualms about using wa'DIch or any ordinal as a noun the way you have.
>> --
>> SuStel
>> http://trimboli.name <http://trimboli.name/>
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