[tlhIngan Hol] info from paq'batlh that's not really new

De'vID de.vid.jonpin at gmail.com
Sat Jun 25 23:00:00 PDT 2022

On Sat, 25 Jun 2022 at 02:47, Iikka Hauhio <fergusq at protonmail.com> wrote:

> De'vID:
> A: {qatlh Sutamchu'?} "Why are you all silent?"
> B1: {tlhIH(1), SuvwI'pu' Hem,} "You, proud warriors,"
> C: {boghIjlu''a'?} "Are you afraid?"
> B2: {tlhIH(2) je, qanra' puqloD,} "And you, sons of Kahnrah,"
> D: {pejatlh!} "Speak up!"
> I'm confused about this. First of all, B1 is a vocative expression of C
> and B2 is a vocative expression of D. They are different sentences. But
> even we somehow accept that B1 and B2 are parts of the same sentence, we
> get this:
> *tlhIH, SuvwI'pu' Hem, tlhIH je, qanra' puqloD*
> I don't understand how the apposition *qanra' puqloD* can come after *je*.

TKD: "The conjunctions joining nouns come after the final noun." The joined
nouns are {tlhIH} and {tlhIH}. It seems to me like a valid interpretation
for {je} to come after the second {tlhIH}, before the apposition.

> My understanding is that *je* ends the whole noun phrase. Therefore, if
> we want to connect an apposition to a noun phrase inside the *je *phrase,
> we should put it before *je*:
> *tlhIH, SuvwI'pu' Hem, tlhIH, qanra' puqloD je*
> I add parentheses around the noun phrases:
> *(tlhIH, SuvwI'pu' Hem) (tlhIH, qanra' puqloD) je*
> I think this is obviously allowed.

I think it's allowed, but I don't think it's obvious. And in particular I
don't think it's obvious that it has the same meaning.

> However, if we move the second apposition after *je*, the second noun
> phrase stops, then comes *je* and then the noun phrase continues. This
> just seems odd to me.

Let me turn this around. Suppose that the lines had been:
{qatlh Sutamchu' tlhIH / SuvwI'pu' Hem boghIjlu''a' / tlhIH qanra' puqloD
je pejatlh}

It's *this* sentence that seems odd to me. Doesn't it seem odd to you that
{tlhIH qanra' puqloD je} doesn't mean "you and sons of Kahnrah" here?

And since the {je} is closer to {qanra' puqloD}, wouldn't the English
translation be more like this:
"Why are you all silent? / You, proud warriors, are you afraid? / You, sons
of Kahnrah also, speak up!"

That is, instead of having the rhetorical structure of "you... and you...",
it would instead be "proud warriors... and sons of Kahnrah", which has a
different emphasis.

The passage from the paq'batlh is a fairly complex sentence (or set of
sentences), in spoken Klingon, addressing two groups of people. There are
two possibilities:

1. The grammar is correct, and normal, for the intended meaning, namely,
addressing "you... and you" with the appositions clarifying each "you".
2. Your suggestion is the correct ("textbook") grammar, but Kahless moved
the {je} to emphaise you.. and you" (rather than "proud warriors... and
sons of Kahnrah"). (Recall TKD: "when Klingon is actually spoken these
rules are sometimes broken.")

I don't think it makes a practical difference which one is correct.

I think it's perfectly logical and reasonable to expect the construction to
be the way you suggested. But I also don't think that language always works
according to logic.

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.kli.org/pipermail/tlhingan-hol-kli.org/attachments/20220626/99a58ce2/attachment-0003.htm>

More information about the tlhIngan-Hol mailing list