tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Tue Oct 19 08:28:35 1993

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Re: More on Greater Than/Less Than

>>I see what you mean.  Except for maybe one thing:  Since, in "la' jaq law'",
>>"la'" is singular, it would be possibly translated into "many bold commander".
>>In this situation, at least, it should be pretty obvious that "many" doesn't
>>apply to "commander", but rather to "bold".
>No, "la'" isn't particularly singular.  Number is an optional category in
>Klingon (TKD 3.3.2).  It is correct to use "la' jaq" to mean "bold
>officers", especially if there's another construct in the sentence to
>indicate the plurality, like a plural prefix.... or a word like "law'".

Yeah, I just saw that; thanks for pointing it out.  Interesting how Klingon,
such a succinct language, is so ambiguous in that department...

>>"Shiny Red Thing"  would be Doch Doq boch.  Literally (according to the
>>premise above), it would be translated as "thing which is red which is
>>shiny".  This differs semantically from the English "Red Shiny Thing",
>>which seems to imply that "red" modifies how it shines.
>I don't think so.  Generally, even in English, multiple adjectives are more
>or less independent.  I don't hear a difference between "red shiny thing"
>and "shiny red thing" myself.  Both mean a thing that is red and shiny.
>Now, the fact that "red" and "shiny" both deal with how the thing reflects
>light implies a certain interaction, but is a "slow shiny thing" something
>that shines slowly, while a "shiny slow thing" is something that is slow in
>a shiny way?

I can accept that idea.  Actually, to indicate greater than/less than within
a single adjective, why not use -qu'/-qu'be' suffixes (emphatic/counter
emphatic)?  Perhaps this isn't PRECISELY the same thing (I'm not entirely
sure what is meant by "emphatic", but I think it could be stretched to 
indicate differing degrees of adjective-ness.  :)

So what was the original example?  The commander who is bolder than than the
officer blew up the space station.  Well, you could do this (given the above)
in two ways:

la' jaq law' yaS jaq puS.  tengchaH Qaw'ta' la'vam (or "la''e'"?).

Or even better, throw "-bogh" in there somewhere, as per TKD 6.2.3.

tengchaH Qaw'ta' la' jaq law'bogh yaS jaq puS.

A bad idea (perhaps) might be just to use the 'e' topic noun suffix to
indicate the subject:

tengchaH Qaw'ta' la''e' jaq law' yaS jaq puS.
     The commander bolder than than officer destroyed the space station.

tengchaH Qaw'ta' la' jaq law' yaS'e' jaq puS.
     The officer less bold than the commander destroyed the space station.

Or, if you accept the idea that the order may be reversed:
tengchaH Qaw'ta' yaS'e' jaq puS la' jaq law'.  (Same xlation)

Anyone keeping track of how many different ways we might possibly be able
to say this?

>I don't think there are any double-adjective examples in the canon, but I
>support allowing them.

Well, the problem with allowing double-adjectives (more precisely, multiple
adjectives) is the same as my original idea; you would need to have a
definite way to modify the other adjectives versus modifying the root noun.
(I think these are called adverbs, but I'm not sure; either way, the
Adverbials from Klingon, IMHO, wouldn't be able to cover it all).  Of course,
now that I've written this, I can't think of a decent example at all...  :)


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