tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Sat Dec 11 18:59:46 1999

Back to archive top level

To this year's listing

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next]

Re: Style and numbers; Was KLBC: Noun Suffixes with Numbers

jatlh DujHoD:
> > Sa' 1: cha' yuQmey mangghommey vIghaj.
> > Sa' 2: wejDaq mangghommey vIghaj jIH'e'.

jatlh charghwI':
> Your second example is better, though you apparently goofed on
> the suffix for {yuQ}. Also, note that adding an explicit {jIH}
> already indicates emphasis on the subject. Adding {-'e'} to that
> really is overkill.

Adding {-'e'} does more than just add emphasis.  It indicates that the noun
is the topic of the sentence.  I agree that {-'e'} doesn't belong on the
{jIH} here, but not for reasons of overkill.

This is what I believe is meant to be conveyed, in English:

General 1: I have armies on two planets.
General 2: *I* have armies on *THREE* planets!

Both "I" and "three" are emphasized, and rightly so.  But the TOPIC of the
sentence is the fact that I have three planets, instead of just two.

However, Klingon has no grammatical tool to topicalize the number in this
case.  (Neither does English, as far as I can think of off the top of my
head!)  It would be clear in speech; your voice would indicate the emphasis
and topic you're looking for.

jatlh charghwI':
> I'd prefer to say:
> Sa' 1: cha' yuQDaq mangghommey vIghaj.
> Sa' 2: wej yuQDaq manggommey vIghaj jIH.

And *I'd* prefer to say:

Sa' wa': cha' yuQDaq mangghommey vIghaj.
Sa' cha': *wej* yuQDaq mangghommey vIghaj jIH.

> Note that this is as much a matter of style as acceptable
> grammar. Certainly, omitting the noun {yuQ} works grammatically,
> but we are talking about PLANETS here. Part of the boast is that
> these locations are PLANETS and not just some unmentioned
> entities.

I disagree.  We are talking about is three instead of two, not planets.

> Additionally, I'm not completely certain that there are any
> canon examples of numbers (which are chuvmey, after all, even
> if they are being used as nouns) have taken noun suffixes in
> canon. I have vague memories of voragh coming up with an
> example, but it is early yet and sleep is a luxury I haven't had
> much of lately.

Well, there was at least one time when Okrand wrote {qep'a' wejDIchDaq}
(usually annoted as a letter to Okrand to me a few years ago, though
ironically I no longer have a copy of the letter - however, I consider this
to be written by Okrand directly, not explained to him by Maltz).  Of
course, this may be because {qep'a' wejDIch} can be considered to be a name.

Stardate 99945.3

Back to archive top level