[tlhIngan Hol] {-Daq} and {-bogh} and {Sumbogh} and {Hopbogh}

Will Martin willmartin2 at mac.com
Wed Feb 2 10:59:52 PST 2022

Relative Clause in English has two forms:

1. Parenthetical:
"My son-in-law, who is Black, is a movie director.”
The Main Clause: “My son-in-law is a movie director.”
The Relative Clause: “who is Black”.
The Relative Clause gives you a parenthetical commentary on what Klingon would call the Head Noun. The Main Clause is complete without the remark and you know who my son-in-law is with or without the reference to his race.
The Relative Pronoun “who” is acting in apposition with “my son-in-law”, so as in apposition, the Relative Clause is set off from the main clause with commas.

2. Indicative:
[I’m showing you a collection of floor tile samples we brought home from a tile store.] “My wife prefers the tile that is dark grey.”
The Main Clause: “My wife prefers the tile.”
The Relative Clause: “that is dark grey”
The Relative Clause identifies the specific tile referred to in the main clause. You don’t know which tile I’m talking about without it.
The Relative Pronoun “that” represents “floor tile”, what in Klingon we would call the Head Noun.
There is no comma between the Relative Clause and the Main Clause.

In Klingon, the Relative Clause has only one form. At one point, someone suggested that at that time all Klingon Relative Clauses seemed to be Indicative, and we weren’t that sure that they even allowed Parenthetical ones, but I think maybe somewhere in canon at least one Parenthetical Relative Cause exists, and Klingon doesn’t seem to differentiate between the two. We have little or no advice on punctuation, in any case.

As you know, there is no Relative Pronoun. Instead, you mark the verb of the Relative Clause with {-bogh} and work the word order out based on first, the word order for the Relative Clause itself, then place the entire Relative Clause where the Head Noun belongs in the Main Clause. So long as both the Main and Relative Clauses are relatively simple, this works out fine. If the Relative Clause has both a Subject and Object, and it is important for the meaning of the sentence to know which is the Head Noun, you optionally can mark it with {-‘e’}, and that’s probably about as complex as you can make things before it’s a better idea to split this into two sentences and abandon the Relative Clause, just letting context link the two sentences.

That doesn’t make more complex structures banned. It’s just that you get into these logical arguments about the process you went through to translate from English to Klingon, ignoring that the finished product is impenetrable in Klingon, because it gets more and more difficult to tell if a word belongs in the Main Clause or the Relative Clause, especially if you have multiple nouns together.

In the end, it doesn’t matter if the process of constructing a sentence has followed all the rules of grammar if you can’t parse the resulting sentence with an acceptable degree of ambiguity.

This is why it doesn’t work to add other Type 5 suffixes to a Head Noun. Likely, the Type 5 suffix is intended to be just for the Relative Clause… unless it was intended to be just for the Main Clause… and there is no way to differentiate, and then you have to consider that the Type 5 has an effect on word order which might not work that well for either the Relative Clause or the Main Clause…

It just keeps getting messier.

The Relative Clause is a useful minor feature of the language. Put too much weight on it and it collapses, like five pounds of icing on a 3 ounce cake.


charghwI’ ‘utlh
(ghaH, ghaH, -Daj)

> On Feb 2, 2022, at 9:38 AM, mayqel qunen'oS <mihkoun at gmail.com> wrote:
> Thanks for explaining all this! I think I understand what's going on,
> and I'll write an example of my own, just to be certain. But before I
> do, just a clarification:
> SuStel:
>> Therefore, it is not possible to construct a relative clause like DujDaq jIHaw'pu'bogh
>> ship in which I fled because the head noun is not subject or object of the main clause
> Did you mean to write "because the head noun is not subject or object
> of the relative clause" instead of "because the head noun is not
> subject or object of the main clause"?
> And now I'll write an example of my own, just to understand I got things right.
> {DISvam joghmajDaq roD romuluSngapu''e' HIvpu'bogh Ha'DIbaHmey DIlegh}
> Facts:
> 1. Relative clause: {DISvam joghmajDaq roD romuluSngapu''e' HIvpu'bogh
> Ha'DIbaHmey}.
> 2. Head noun of the relative clause: {romuluSngapu'}.
> 3. If we were to include this noun in the main sentence without the
> rest of the relative clause, the sentence would still work:
> {romuluSngapu' DIlegh}.
> But here there's just the ambiguity that depending on context, the
> {DISvam joghmajDaq roD} can either refer to the {romuluSngapu''e'
> HIvpu'bogh Ha'DIbaHmey} or only to the {DIlegh}. So the sentence in
> question is correct, and it can mean either of two things:
> 1. We regularly see this year in our quadrant, Romulans who have been
> attacked by animals.
> 2. We see Romulans, who have been regularly attacked by animals in our
> quadrant during this year.
> -- 
> Dana'an
> https://sacredtextsinklingon.wordpress.com/
> Ζεὺς ἦν, Ζεὺς ἐστίν, Ζεὺς ἔσσεται· ὦ μεγάλε Ζεῦ
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