tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Mon Mar 14 05:20:26 1994

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Re: KLBC: Spring Break

Here's one from Paul, which I received a few days ago, haven't seen
a response to from the BG, and includes a general question to the
grammarians, so I'm taking it on.

>Ready for a REALLY long one?

>DaH poH'a' vIghajmo' jIghIQlaH 'ach jIneHqu'nISmo' jIghIQQo'

>I've got time for a vacation now, but I have too much work to do, so I'm
>not going on a vacation.

Am I the only person who got left in the dust here?  I'm unclear how
one gets "I have too much work to do" out of jIneHqu'nISmo'.  I get
"because I need to WANT".  Maybe it wanted to be jIvumqu'nISmo'?

>qaD 'oHpu' mughta'ghach'e'

>That translation was a challenge.

This sentence is entirely correct, but I feel compelled to throw
in a stylistic comment.  Normally we don't burden beginners with
style stuff, but I think Paul is getting enough of a handle on
things that he's ready for one simple one.

While there's disagreement about extent, and there's no hard or
fixed rules, it seems reasonable that Klingon is more verb oriented
where English is more noun oriented.  An outgrowth of this is that,
when Klingon has both a noun and verb form of a word (as here, with
qaD, which can be "to challenge" or "a challenge"), that one would
often lean towards using the verb form rather than use the noun form
with a "to be" pronoun, as was done here.  In other words, while the
version Paul gave us is certainly correct Klingon, let me just offer
a different approach as food for thought:

muqaDpu' mughta'ghach'e'

>Before the translations, I've a question for the grammarians...  This I'll
>also do in Klingon (I spent the time, I'm gonna do it!  And you can't
>stop me!  :)
>neH "'ach jIneHqu'nISmo' jIghIQQo'" 'e' mu'tlhegh pImDaq vIjatlhlaHpu''a'
>I'll translate this right off the bat...
>Could I have said "'ach jIneHqu'nISmo' jIghiQQo'" in a separate sentence?
>Is it possible/how would I create a "But..." sentence?

Well, first, let's disect the question itself.  First off, we get
that strange use of neH again.  This time, I suspect it is intended
as the adverbial, meaning "merely, just".  Recall, though, that the
rule is *special* for this neH-- unlike other adverbials, it
*follows* the thing it modifies.

Second, there's a problems with the use of the pronoun 'e' here. One
doesn't use 'e' on verbs of speaking or saying, which jatlh
certainly is.

Third, the phrase mu'tlhegh pImDaq is a locative, telling where the
action is happening, and as such, goes at the beginning of the
sentence.  Thus, we get:

mu'tlhegh pImDaq "'ach jIneHqu'nISmo' jIghIQQo'" neH vIjatlhlaHpu''a'?

And the answer to the question is:  Yes.  One might argue over
whether or not such a thing constituted a full sentence, but at
worst it is a sentence fragment, which Klingon certainly seems to


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