tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Wed Mar 09 14:40:05 1994
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- From: [email protected] (Nick NICHOLAS)
- Subject: Re: Qaghqoq
- Date: Thu, 10 Mar 94 18:37:51 EST
- In-Reply-To: <[email protected]>; from "Mark E. Shoulson" at Mar 9, 94 12:37 pm
> >Does this sound like a good list? What other things should be
> >candidates? Should we polish the list by some manner of popular vote in order
> >to reflect the priorities of the group?
Ah yes. The old perennial chestnut ;) . One of the points of the translation
effort was to augment these wish lists; in my opinion, they don't need to
be. More often than not, try harder within Klingon, rather than calquing
My one exception would be, as I've already mentioned, an irrealis marker,
to distinguish cases like "if you misspeak, the Emperor will kill you" from
"had you misspoken, the Emperor would have killed you" (and no, context
does not always resolve this one.)
> How to handle heads of relative clauses which are not sunject or object, of
> both main and subordinate clause (the "Ship in which I fled" problem).
I'd have thought this settled, Mark. (But then, you've seen my HolQeD article
on the matter; the list hasn't.) We handle oblique heads of relative clauses
the same way Malagasy, Frisian and Turkish do: we don't. You rephrase, or
adjoin the clause as a separate clause. And pragmatically, we're already
putting rel.clauses as obliques of the main clause; because of the above,
there's no ambiguity. As far as I can tell, the system's working, without
anyone having intended it to work out --- one of the most beautiful things
to have happened with this language away from Okrand; why the need to drag
him into it now that it's resolved?
> Spellings of words we gleaned from PK and CK. Is it ?DroS? roS? ?DoroS?
To say the least, for Okrand not to have volunteered these spellings is
rude (and for noone to have asked him that has access to him is astonishing).
So far, we've been using your renderings of them as standard (they ended
up in the unofficial word-lists); I scarcely see why that should change.
Because we guessed non-canon? Hey, if Okrand isn't talking, canon enough
Ok, I suppose this *does* belong on the wish-list after all. Not that high
> Transitivity of assorted unclear verbs in vocabulary.
I'm not sure if I can envisage Okrand saying something pleasant here. He
either (1) makes them all intransitive (the sensible, Volapuk approach);
(2) makes them all transitive (the unsensible approach, since Klingon
doesn't have the equivalent of Esperanto -igx); (3) randomises transitivity
according to verb (what natural languages do, but guaranteed to make me
throw away my TKD, and I doubt I speak alone); (4) leave it up in the air
(the Krankor option so far --- and I suspect the likeliest.) What I've seen
in corpus is that he ignores transitivity distinctions (tagh used
intransitively, chegh used transitively --- showing he has no Lojbanic
compunctions which could lead to approach (1)) --- so I'm not sure he'll
say anything to *resolve* this issue.
> Adverbializing structure. Not necessarily a suffix or anything drastic
> like that, but a sentence-structure that can be used to make verbs/clauses
> adverbial. This would be something very nice.
No. Absolutely not necessary. Anything like this *would* be drastic, and
a sentence-as-subject device besides. Clause subordination is the way to
> Assorted vocabulary... nouns of position ("inside" has been mentioned).
Possibly. Will hardly hold my breath, of course. The smart way to do this
is to get some word frequency counts, and see what hasn't been covered
in the lexicon. If we ask him for words on an ad-hoc basis, we will get
a quite regrettable, wasteful lexicon (Klingon only allows 2500 monosyllables,
> How can nouns of time be extended? is "ben law'" OK for "many years ago"?
> General info on how nouns of time fit in and when they can be unmarked and
> when we need qaStaHvIS-like constructions.
Oh. I thought we were ploddling along fine with this. At least, *I* was ;) .
The intuitively sensible thing is that noun/adverbs of time get less acceptable
as adverbs the more noun-like their behaviour (eg. taking on adjectives).
I'd say "ben" for "years ago"/"remote past marker" (Klingon needs these
badly; there is no future but "tugh", unless you use "leS" and "nem").
Their grammaticality would, in a sensible language, be in question, but if
Okrand was careless enough to (a) list ben and leS in the dictionary, and
(b) not say explicitly that wa'leS can be adverbial (it *is* listed as a
noun), then he'd be callous to rule that "ben" etc. can't be used adverbially.
> *Anything* to help us with law'/puS constructions. How does it work with
> pronouns? (jIH tIn law', SoH tIn puS? jItIn law', bItIn puS? What?)
> How/where/if to add verb-suffixes for "because the captain is braver than
> the commander"?
I thought jIH tIn law', SoH tIn puS, and HoD yoH law'mo' la' yoH puSmo' were
obvious, and have used them many times in my translations. Is there any reason
why these should be dispreferred? The NOUN VERB law' construct has obviously
nothing to do with conventional clauses, so I'm not that perturbed by the
lack of verb agreement. Further, the law' and puS are the words governing
the NOUN VERB complexes (ie these are law' and puS's arguments; law' and puS
are the heads of their clauses); given Klingon head-adjunct marking, you'd
expect law' and puS to get the suffixes.
Nick, who's missing his .sigs...