tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Mon Dec 06 21:00:44 1993

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HaghmoHwI'Hom vInIDqa'



>From: nsn@vis.mu.OZ.AU (Nick NICHOLAS)
>Date: Sat, 4 Dec 93 12:36:59 EDT

>batlh choja', Will Martin quv:

>=> If your intent was to make {'e'} the subject of {teHchugh}, then
>=> you are unfortunately mistaken. It's a somewhat obscure error.
>=     If you think I was trying to make 'e' the subject, then YOU are wrong.
>=It was the object. My sentence fragment plainly translates to "If it is true
>=that your idea is better than my idea..." I could have stated an explicit
>=pronoun for the subject, but that hardly seems necessary.

>charghwI, you're transcribing your sentence from English word for word,
>and it's highly unlikely that this will work for Klingon. First, I doubt
>any grammarian would consider this "that"-clause a direct object, since
>they wouldn't even consider "to be true" transitive. On a semantic level,
>"that blah blah blah" is the first --- and only --- argument of the
>predicate "to be true"; and you can't have an argument be an object, when
>you don't have one being a subject. (*) Second, on a syntactic level, the
>"it" in "it is true" is a dummy variable, and a trick peculiar to English
>and a few other languages; it means nothing, and we have no reason to
>suppose the mechanism would carry across in Klingon. The that-clause is
>analysed typically as a sentential complement.

Yep.  No way is "...that your idea is better..." the object of anything.
I'll not easily believe that "teH" is transitive in Klingon, even with the
loose direct objects we use.  The direct object should be somewhat more
intuitively linked as the recipient of the verb.  The English has, as Nick
says, a complement, and no object at all.  "It" and "that..." are referring
to the same thing (cataphora again).

>( (*) Blatant untruth, I admit. What I mean is, in most grammars, and, the
>null hypothesis would go, in Klingon, if a verb has an object, it also
>has a subject, present or implied; and I fail to see how "to be true"
>can have two arguments. Lojban uses as its second argument "according to",
>and one could argue this, but this is not the role chargwI' has posited
>for teH's object, and in Klingon this would more likely be expressed
>as -vaD: "This is true to me" --- "jIHvaD teH mu'tlhejvam".)

Lojban's anomolous, and we know it.  Its place structures have arbitrary
meanings, something even the loose-object interpretation doesn't give to
tlhIngan Hol, IMHO.

>charghwI' is not... wrong per se. Anything is theoretically possible in
>Klingon, I suppose, and with the absence of sentential subjects, there
>may have been functional pressure on "'e'" to fake this role. But far
>from being the obvious means of expression he seems to think it is, this
>means of expression is actually quite deviant, and the onus would be
>on him to justify it. I, for one, find 'e' teH 'oH hard to justify; I'd
>be interested to see what Qanqor says, chegh'eghDI' (if anyone's noticed,
>that chegh'egh is a Lojbanism: I reason that you return things, or
>return yourself).

I also don't think it's right.  And BTW, I've used chegh'egh myself, before
you pointed it out, probably with roughly the same reasoning.

~mark



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