[tlhIngan Hol] {net X} vs. {'e' Xlu'}

Will Martin lojmitti7wi7nuv at gmail.com
Sat Jun 11 06:41:13 PDT 2022

First, you should recognize that {tlhIngan Hol ghojlu’chu’ ‘e’ chavlu’chugh…} could have perhaps more simply been expressed as {tlhIngan Hol ghojlu’chu’ta’chugh}. But that’s a distraction. Sorry.

While we are celebrating new potential complexity, since that seems to be the whole point of this list much of the time, let’s look closer at something I haven’t seen anyone mention yet:

SAO is actually SAOOAS. One sentence is the object of another sentence. When we were introduced to this construction, both sentences were simple main clauses. The larger new thing here (than {Xlu’ ‘e’ Ylu’} is the idea that it’s fine for the second sentence to be a dependent clause of yet another main clause. What we unconsciously did here was make sure that the dependent clause precedes the main clause, so we don’t have yet another clause between the second sentence and its object, making the string of words harder to parse.

{tlhIngan Hol ghojlu’chu’ ‘e’ chavlu’chugh QuchchoH Hoch}

Not so good, even if it is grammatically legal:
{tlhIngan Hol ghojlu’chu’ QuchchoH Hoch ‘e’ chavlu’chugh}

What if we have a main clause with a sentence as object, and that main clause has a dependent clause in addition to the sentence as object? This implies that the dependent clause should follow the main clause for clarity as to which clause the object is the object of.

While pretending to be language teachers, our spies blocked our enemies’ spies from perfectly learning the Klingon language in order to prepare to steal all our important secrets.

{Hoch peghmeymaj potlh nIHrupmeH jaghma' ghoqwI’pu’ tlhIngan Hol lughojchu’ ‘e’ bot ghoqwI’pu'ma’ Hol ghojwI’pu’ ghettaHvIS.}

Okay, but what if that dependent clause on the second sentence whose main clause has another sentence as object has a {-meH} clause that must precede the main clause?

In order to protect all our important secrets, our spies pretended to teach our enemies’ spies the Klingon language.

jaghwI’pu’ ghoqwI’pu’vaD tlhIngan Hol lughojmoH ghoqwI’pu’maj Hoch peghmeymaj potlh QanmeH ‘e’ lughet ghoqwI’pu’maj.

Likely, it’s valid and one can parse it, and perhaps can even develop it further, but mostly as an exercise for coming up with the Klingon equivalent of James Joycean prose. It requires a large mental stack of stuff to remember while you read stuff that goes in another direction, before coming back to piece the larger parts together. I like it not.

I’m rusty, but I can still write this stuff (even as I’m sure my errors will be celebrated).


charghwI’ ‘utlh
(ghaH, ghaH, -Daj)

> On Jun 11, 2022, at 7:41 AM, De'vID <de.vid.jonpin at gmail.com> wrote:
> Le sam. 11 juin 2022 à 11:17, D qunen'oS <mihkoun at gmail.com <mailto:mihkoun at gmail.com>> a écrit :
> I can write for instance:
> tlhIngan Hol ghojlu'chu' 'e' chavlu'chugh..
> if someone achieves that he perfectly learns klingon..
> Meaning that the same (unspecified) person that learns klingon perfectly is the person doing the achieving.
> Right. "If one achieves learning Klingon perfectly..." The learner is the achiever.
> On the other hand, if I want to say "if someone unspecified achieves that someone else (unspecified as well) learns Klingon perfectly..", then I'll write:
> tlhIngan Hol ghojlu'chu' net chavchugh..
> if someone achieves that he perfectly learns klingon..
> "If it is achieved that someone learns Klingon perfectly..."
> The difference is whether the achievement is attributed to the learner. 
> Suppose I'm training a class of Federation cadets to be diplomats, linguists, or spies, and I'm talking what an achievement it would be if someone learns Klingon perfectly. {tlhIngan Hol ghojlu'chu' 'e' chavlu'chugh} would mean that the achievement is associated with the unspecified someone who learned Klingon perfectly. {tlhIngan Hol ghojlu' net chavchugh} would mean that the achievement is general. (It's an achievement by the class, by the Federation, or whatever. The achiever is unstated. The goal of having someone learn Klingon perfectly is just achieved.)
> If I understand things wrong, or if we're (still) not allowed to use {Xlu' 'e' Ylu'}, then please do tell me because I'm about to start {Xlu' 'e' Ylu'}ing as if there's no tomorrow.
> We now have an explanation of a grammatical construction that we've observed before, but wasn't clearly explained. If context calls for it, go ahead and construct similar sentences. 
> Also, this isn't restricted to {Xlu' 'e' Ylu'}, but applies to complex sentences of other types as well (e.g., with type 9 verb suffixes). For example, {Suvlu'taHvIS Doy'choHbe'lu'} "one does not become tired while (one is) fighting". It seems useful to understand how such constructions work.
> -- 
> De'vID
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