[tlhIngan Hol] vabDot referring to the {-'e'}d noun

Steven Boozer sboozer at uchicago.edu
Fri Feb 25 07:57:23 PST 2022

Qo'noS romuluS je boSuqlaH.  vabDot tera' Qejbogh DIvI' ram boSuqlaH.
Kronos, Romulus and even the puny Federation's precious Earth, are all
up for grabs. (MKE)

vabDot Sovbe' targhwIj
Even my targ won't know!  (qep'a' 2018 Secrecy Proverb)
(janSIy, 8/06/2018]): It's more literally “in addition, my targ will not know”,
with an assumed reference to others not knowing in the first place.

(qepHom 2017):  {vabDot} means something like “moreover, furthermore, even”.  “Even” is a good English translation of {vabDot} in a number of contexts.  It's not the only definition of {vabDot}, but I think it's okay as part of the definition.  But there's a little more to it than that. *It's used to say that something is unexpected or surprising or counterintuitive*, not just additional.  For something that's just additional, you'd probably use {je} “also”.  Grammatically, {vabDot} is considered an adverbial.

Another such adverbial is {neH}:

(TKD 56f):  One word fits somewhat awkwardly into this category: {neH} “only, merely, just”.  Unlike the other adverbials, it follows the verb which it modifies. [ … ] Also unlike the other adverbials, {neH} can follow a noun.  In such cases, it means “only, alone”.  {yaS neH} “only the officer, the officer alone”.  {jonta' neH} “only the engine."

.. and {neHHa’} :

(qurgh, 7/28/2017 < qep’a’ 2017):  I also asked Marc again about using {-Ha'} on adverbs. He said that if it makes sense, then {-Ha'} could be used. I offered the example of {tlhIngan Hol neHHa' vIjatlh} and he translated that as “I speak not only Klingon” as in “I speak many languages including Klingon”.

Note that when they apply to only one word and not the entire clause they follow that word instead of being in the usual slot for adverbials at the head of the clause.

Voragh, Ca'Non Master of the Klingons
    Please contribute relevant vocabulary or notes from the last
    year or two. I’ve fallen woefully behind in updating my files.

From: tlhIngan-Hol On Behalf Of mayqel qunen'oS

> Adverbials typically apply their meaning to entire clauses, not
> just a noun or a verb in a clause. {vabDot} means that the clause
> it's attached to is additional information that is surprising or
> counterintuitive. {vabDot Human tISam} means: locate the humans;
> this order may be surprising or counterintuitive. {Human'e' vabDot
> tISam} means: locate the humans, as opposed to someone else;
> this order may be surprising or counterintuitive.
> So if you can describe in full detail what the difference between
> locate even the humans and even locate the humans is, then you
> can determine whether the Klingon means either or both of those.

Indeed, the "even locate the humans" sounds strange. Perhaps it could be understood in the context of "don't just scan them; even locate them".

Anyway, I'm glad to learn that the Klingon can mean both depending on context.

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