[tlhIngan Hol] verb prefix on XvaD Y ponglu' construction when Y is plural

De'vID de.vid.jonpin at gmail.com
Thu Jul 7 04:37:08 PDT 2022

On Wed, 6 Jul 2022 at 13:50, D qunen'oS <mihkoun at gmail.com> wrote:

> Sometime ago, I wanted to say "they called the festival the panatheneans".
> So, initially I wrote {yupma'vaD panatheneans ponglu'}.
> But immediately I realized that the word "panatheneans" is plural; I can't
> translate it exactly in English, but it's like saying "the all Athenses".

English has "borrowed" enough Greek words that I think most literate
English speakers would recognise the prefix "pan", e.g., "pan-American",
"pan-Asian", and other "pan-" geographic terms; "pantheism", "pandemic",

> And by saying "Athenses" I mean the plural of the word "Athens". As if
> there are many cities, each by the name of Athens, and we're meaning all of
> them.
> (Perhaps, a similar example would be "they called the festival 'all
> solstices'").

According to John Dryden's translation of Plutarch's Theseus, the name
"Panathenaea" means "(the sacrifice of) all the united Athenians". But
whether it refers to people or cities, it's in any case plural (in Greek).

> Anyway, back to the original question.. Since the word "panatheneans" is
> plural, what should I write?
> yupma'vaD panatheneans ponglu'
> yupma'vaD panatheneans luponglu'
> Which of the two would be the correct choice?

This doesn't really answer your question, but it really depends on whether
the Klingon (or Klingon speaker) is aware that the original word was
plural, and whether they care. Words which are plural in one language are
sometimes borrowed into another language as singular.
See this Quora question:

yupma'vamvaD «Hoch *aten-nganpu' yupma'» ponglu'. 'elaDya' Hol lo'lu'DI',
«Panathenaea» jatlhlu'.

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