tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Wed Mar 02 22:15:43 1994

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Complex sentences and question words

>From: "Matthew Whiteacre" <[email protected]>
>Date: Wed, 2 Mar 94 17:05:08 CST

>On Wed, 2 Mar 1994 17:19:16 -0400 (EST, Kevin Wilson wrote:

>>SuvwI'pu' quv,
>>	In translating Genesis I came across the sentence "Why did you
>>tell me that she is your sister?"  Sounds easy enough, but I found that I
>>could not decide where to place the question word.  According to TKD 6.4,
>>the question words nuqDaq, ghorgh, qatlh, and chay' all come at the
>>beginning of a sentence.  But what about the case of complex sentences? 
>>According to 6.2.5 a complex sentence in tlhIngan Hol is actually two
>>sentences.  As I read it, one of the following choices is correct.
>>	(1) qatlh be'nI'lI' ghaH 'e' qaja'ta'
>>	(2) be'nI'lI' ghaH qatlh 'e' qaja'ta'
>>	(3) be'nI'lI' ghaH 'e' qatlh qaja'ta'

>If you came up to me and said option one, I would try to give you a basic 
>lesson in biology, explaining that we have the same parents, thus we are 

>According to how I read section 6.2.5, it never states that the pronoun 
>{'e'} or {net} must be the first word of the sentence.  Thus if you used 
>english puncuation, I would write:

>be'nI'lI' ghaH.   qatlh 'e' qaja'ta'

>Which is a version of your number 2 option.

This selfsame question was treated by our own Captain Krankor in HolQeD
1:2, wherein he came up with the same conclusion as you did.  While I'm not
sure I'd punctuate it quite like that, but punctuation is just a helping
hand; it doesn't determine grammar.  Anyway, "'e'" is unmistakably a
pronoun (that's what Okrand calls it), and is part of the second sentence
(the object), and question words like qatlh, like adverbials, come before
the objects of their sentences.  So option (2) is plainly correct.


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