tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Mon Dec 06 06:03:35 1993
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Re: HaghmoHwI'Hom vInIDqa'
I appreciate Nick's much more mature and explicit description of my
error concerning "If it is true that..." being an improper use of 'e'. To be
frank, something in the back of my mind tried to get through to me that this
sort of thing was challenged in the past and certainly not settled in my
favor. Meanwhile, the rather middle-school (or maybe late elementary school)
nature of Guido's flame I received for my error left me with little interest
in being reasonable. I normally respect Guido's opinion highly, but a
reputation for clarity, creativity, and the skill for repeatedly bringing up
interesting points cannot carry him through such a childish explosion. It is
simply distracting and distructive with very little constructive potential.
Still, it returns me to what I think should be a re-exploration of this
verb "to be" and the ramafications of its relationship with Klingon.
In English, it is a reflexive verb. "The king is Arthur" means the same
thing as "Arthur is the king." Given this, the verb "to be" appears to have
two subjects and no object. It describes the relationship between the two
subjects. It is structured as if one of the two subjects were an object.
My grammatical training is certainly incomplete. I am a little confused
about the nature of this "to be" verb when it is applied to adjectives. It
would seem that "It is true," means the same thing as "True is it," though it
may sound a bit more strange. This leaves an adjective treated as a noun if
it is to stand as subject. Methinks this be integral to my error...
My error was to extend this into the Klingon verbs which imply both the
verb "to be" and a description of what that subject "is". I made a leap
between the grammatical structure to say, "X, I want that" to saying "X, it
is true that." It just seems like the way a Klingon would say it. Given that
the difference between an direct object or an indirect object can be
undifferentiated so commonly, it seems odd that the line between subject and
object of a verb that only has one and not the other should be so impassible.
But clearly, there is no interest in opening this passageway. We would
prefer to remain with no way to say this than to say this in this way. I
defer to the group. I'm not intending for this to be a value statement. It is
a perfectly valid choice to say that for reasons of consistency, sticking to
the cannon, we choose to disallow the expressing of this meaning through this
construction, and we have no other construction for expressing this meaning.