tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Tue Dec 14 15:29:11 1999

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RE: KLBC: A construction that seems...unusual.

jatlh juDmoS:
>>> ' wa'Hu' chuSqu'moH nuq ? ' tlhobta' qama'.

jIjang. jIjatlh:
> Two minor problems here. First, <tlhob> is not 
> a verb of speaking. You have to use <jatlh> or 
> <ja'>: <tlhob qama'. jatlh ' ... '>. 

> there is no need to differentiate between 
> a statement and a question. The fact that what he 
> said contains a question word is sufficient. Where 
> is that about <tlhob> not being a verb of speaking ?

<jatlh> and <ja'> are the only two verbs that Klingon uses for quotations,
so you always need one or the other of these. Other verbs, like <tlhob>,
<ghel>, <jach>, <tlhup>, etc. can provide more information about the purpose
or method of speech of the quote.

> Second, I think the <-moH> on <chuS> probably does not 
> belong. <chuS> means "be noisy", so your sentence means 
> "What made (it) noisy?". This might be what you want, 
> but I suspect you were going for "What was noisy?".
> What I was actually going for was something similar to 
> "What caused all that noise <I heard> yesterday?

Then you definitely want <chuS>. Something which is noisy causes noise
itself. It does not cause other things to cause noise. Make sense?

> But in defense of the use of the -ta' suffix, 
> I was attempting to translate the following :
> The prisoner asked the guard, "What caused all the noise 
> yesterday?" The guard told the prisoner, "Your 'rescuers' 
> failed utterly. We executed the ones who didn't get 
> killed trying to rescue you." I was implying (perhaps 
> unneccesarily) that the death of *all* the recuers was 
> deliberately undertaken, and (finally) completed. The 
> noise the prisoner heard was the execution of the 
> survivors.

Then the <-ta'> on <muH> is fine. The rest of the <-ta'>mey, however, don't
make sense. Here's how I would back translate it with all the <-ta'>

The prisoner had asked the guard "What was so noisy yesterday?". The guard
had told the prisoner " . . . "

The point is that <-ta'> means the action is complete. When you're telling
the story, you're descibing the action *in the context of the action*. It's
not complete yet. If you add <-ta'> or <-pu'> to everything, it's like
you're describing the location of the story after everybody has done their
thing and left.

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