[tlhIngan Hol] {vaj} the english "so" and joining multiple {-bogh} phrases by {vaj}

SuStel sustel at trimboli.name
Thu Jul 21 08:09:13 PDT 2022

On 7/21/2022 7:53 AM, D qunen'oS wrote:
> Suppose I write:
> yaS HoHpu' bombogh yan 'ej reH vuQbogh
> the officer was killed by the singing sword which always fascinates
> Or
> yaS HoHpu' bombogh yan 'ej ghIq ngabbogh
> the officer was killed by the sword which sings and subsequently vanishes
> I can understand and "feel" why in the {rIQchoHmoHbogh nuH ('ej} vaj 
> 'oy'choHmoHbogh} the {vaj 'oy'choHmoHbogh} is a parenthetical 
> miniature sentence.
> But in the singing sword examples I can't feel anything parenthetical 
> in the second {-bogh}.
> So I guess the question is this:
> In the case of sentences as the ones already mentioned, is the second 
> {-bogh} phrase to be always understood as a parenthetical phrase? Or 
> the distinction between what is parenthetical and what isn't, is 
> rather based on context instead of whether it's being preceded by an 
> adverb?

Eh? Neither relative clause is parenthetical. Relative clauses appear to 
be restrictive in Klingon — that is, the meaning of the sentence changes 
if you drop them.

*yaS HoHpu' bombogh yan*/
the singing sword killed the officer/

This doesn't mean "The sword killed the officer (oh, and by the way, the 
sword also sings)." It means "The sword that is the one that sings 
killed the officer." The relative clause *bombogh* is restrictive.

This doesn't change just because we conjoin relative clauses.

*yaS HoHpu' bombogh yan 'ej reH ngabbogh
*/the singing sword that always disappears killed the officer/

This is literally "The sword which sings and which always disappears 
killed the officer." This doesn't mean "The sword killed the officer 
(oh, and by the way, it sings and always disappears)." It doesn't even 
mean "The sword that sings killed the officer (oh, and by the way, the 
sword always disappears)." It means that the sword that sings and always 
disappears, that particular sword, killed the officer. It's not talking 
about any other sword in that sentence. Both relative clauses are 

The problem you're having is with that *ngIq.* That adverbial is trying 
to pull the disappearing action into a period of time /after/ the sword 
killed the officer, but you're also trying to use the relative clause to 
describe the sword that kills the officer. There's nothing ungrammatical 
about doing this, but you're confusing yourself because you're trying to 
imagine the sword that disappears in the future being used to kill 
someone in the past. The *ngIq* is meant to refer back to the killing, 
but it's conjoined with the singing. One would be quite justified in 
reading it this way:

*yaS HoHpu' bombogh yan 'ej ngIq ngabbogh
*/the singing and then disappearing sword killed the officer/

That is, even though it's obviously not the intention, this would be 
more naturally understood as a sword that sings and then disappears 
being used to kill an officer, not as a sword that sings... and then 
disapears after killing the officer.

When you come across problems like this, where what you're saying is 
grammatical but which is likely to be interpreted in a way different 
than what you mean, you need to rephrase. Not because you /can't/ say it 
that way but because you /shouldn't./

*yaS HoHpu' bombogh yan. ngIq ngabpu'.
*/The singing sword killed the officer. Then it disappeared./

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.kli.org/pipermail/tlhingan-hol-kli.org/attachments/20220721/f54479fc/attachment-0004.htm>

More information about the tlhIngan-Hol mailing list