tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Mon Dec 13 07:36:49 1999

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

On Sat, 11 Dec 1999 19:47:20 -0500 David Trimboli 
<> wrote:

> 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 has been a controversial point, and in conversations with 
Okrand he has admitted that he has used {-'e'} as an emphatic as 
much as a true "topicalizer".  In fact, he has done so more 
often than he has used it as a real topicalizer.

He describes, for example, the use of {-'e'} on a direct object 
causing it to preceed the adverbial, with the justification 
being that it is the topic of the sentence. Meanwhile, that's 
not how it appears quite often. Certainly, that is not how it is 
used to mark the head noun of a relative clause and it is not 
how it is used to mark the subject of the verb "to be". It is 
also not how it has tended to be used in canon.

> 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!

Simply having the {jIH} explicit takes care of the emphasis on 
> 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.

The difference between topic and emphasis is vague enough that 
it has caused more than one heated argument here.
> 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.
Are you are indicating verbal emphasis here? If so, that works 
for me. I might also say something like:

Sa' wa': cha' yuQDaq mangghommey vIghaj.

Sa' Cha': cha' yuQ neH DaDan'a'? wej yuQDaq mangghommey vIghaj 

If you are really trying to rub it in, it is probably worth a 
couple extra words. The juxtaposed contrast can give the 
emphasis we are seeking.

Still, both of us are getting away from the question that was 
originally raised: Can one put a Type 5 noun suffix on a number? 
I'll be honest and say that I don't know for sure. I'll tend not 
to, but that is a personal choice.

> > 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.
It also can be because the suffix {-DIch} grammatically changes 
the function of a number, essentially making it behave like a 
verb used adjectivally, hence it inherits the Type Five suffix 
from the preceeding noun. An unsuffixed number can be a subject 
or object of a clause, but a lone {wejDIch} would not, unless it 
became a sort of idiomatic noun, like {cha'DIch}. Similarly 
{wejlogh} is not grammatically used the same way as an 
unsuffixed number. It is used as an adverb, not as a noun.
> SuStel
> Stardate 99945.3


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