[tlhIngan Hol] «jIH je» and variations

zrajm zrajm at klingonska.org
Sat Nov 19 21:22:59 PST 2022

Me, E.T., Thiago and pay'qagh discussed the phase «jIH je» on in the car
here at the qepHom'a' in Saarbücken the other day (we were on our way to
the party on Friday). – One of them said this topic has been discussed at
some earlier meeting (a qep'a'?). I tried to search old tlhingan-hol
postings, but I couldn't find anything on the subject.

I've heard lots of people use the phrase «jIH je» to mean “Me too” – as in,
for example, in an exchange like:

«juH qach vIghaj» (“I have a house.”)
«jIH je» (“Me too”)


«vIraS vIjaH vIneH» (“I want to go to France.”)
«jIH je» (“Me too”)

But I started to wonder what's going on in these phrases. I figure «jIH je»
are abbreviations of the longer phrases «juH qach vIghaj je (jIH)» and
«vIraS vIjaH vIneH je (jIH)». And, maybe, since the pronoun «jIH» is the
only thing verb-like in the sentence, it acts a verb in the shortened
phase, and the «je» therefore comes after it. (Though, with that
interpretation, «jIH je» sounds more like “I am too” to my ears – but I
remember taking about this with someone [HoD Qanqor? Seqram? Qov?] at a
qep'a' at some point and getting pushback. – So clearly other people think

But, what if «jIH» isn't a verb at all in that sentence? (Is there a verb
requirement in Klingon sentences? If a lone adverb can act as a sentence
[given adequate context] then maybe a noun [or a pronoun functioning as a
noun] can too?) If that's so, wouldn't it mean that the sentences  «juH
qach vIghaj je jIH» and «vIraS vIjaH vIneH je jIH» should rather be
abbreviated as «je jIH» (retaining the word order of the longer sentence)?

Or maybe the response could even abbreviated to just «je»? – Though I
figure the pronoun is quite likely to be used for emphasis since that is
new information the responder is wishing to convey.

So, what do you think? Is «je jIH» better than «jIH je»? And what are you
arguments for your belief? – Or should the phrase be avoided altogether and
expressed some other way? How?


P.S. «je» is classified as a conjunction in TKD (even when used after a
verb to mean «too») so it's not a given (at least to me) that it is
grammatical to use on its own.

This is different from how TKD talks about the, syntactically similar,
«neH» “only” (which can also come after both nouns and verbs) in that «neH»
is explicitly called an adverbial. (I take this to mean that «neH» on its
own it a perfectly fine sentence – though the number of contexts in which
it would make sense might be limited.)
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