tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Wed Feb 10 12:52:21 1999

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Re: Emphasis

On Wed, 10 Feb 1999 10:18:03 -0800 (PST) Steven Boozer 
<> wrote:

> : >>		DaHjaj pablIj neH vIqel jIH
> : >>		Today, only I considered only your grammar.
> : >
> : >What are you really stressing here?  The way it's written, the main
> : >emphasis seems to be (at least to me and 'oghwI') on {pablIj}: I only
> : >considered your *grammar* (not your literary style, choice of words,
> : >spelling, Klingon spirit, etc.) with perhaps a secondary emphasis on {jIH}.
> : 
> : Is that what pagh was saying?  I read his sentence, correctly, as "Today *I*
> : considered only your grammar."  I don't recall exactly what he meant, but
> : that's what he said.            ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
> Which is exactly my point: you're not sure what he means.  
> (BTW, who says there's only one correct translation of a 
> sentence from one language to another?)

I would not make a general statement that there is only one 
correct way to translate any sentence from one language to 
another, but I do believe that some sentences have basically one 
correct translation. I don't think it is okay to use "a sentence 
can be translated more than one way" as a slippery slope to 
justify a bad translation. In this case, I think, as pagh said 
himself, his Klingon sentence is actually clearer than his 
English translation of it.
> : 							  {neH} doesn't emphasize anything.  After a noun it
> : means "only," "only that noun and no other."
> By you that's not emphasis? 

By me, that's not emphasis.


1. QeblIj vIlegh vIneH.
2. QeblIj'e' vIlegh vIneH.
3. QeblIj neH vIlegh vIneH.

1. I want to see your ring.
2. I want to see your RING.
3. I want to see only your ring.

The first sentence is the basic statement. Present your hand 
so I can see your ring. The second one emphasizes the direct 
object. The topic, the focus of the sentence is the ring. Let me 
hold your hand near my face so I can get a really good look a 
the ring. The third one suggests you should take off the ring, 
hand it to me and then walk away. I don't want to see you, your 
hand or anything else currently associated with the ring. I just 
want to see the ring, exclusively. "Just the facts, Ma'm."

> Consider:
> 	1. pablIj vIqel.				I'll consider your grammar.
> 	2. pablIj neH vIqel.			I'll consider only your grammar.
> 	3. pablIj'e' vIqel.			As for your grammar, I'll consider it.
> 	4. pablIj'e' vIqel jay'!	I'll consider YOUR GRAMMAR, dammit!
> No. 1 is a neutral statement of fact with no element receiving any particulary emphasis.  
> No. 2 emphasizes, limits or focuses attention if you will, on 
> *only* {pablIj}. 

I "will" that it limits. There is a difference in meaning 
between emphasizing and limiting scope.

> It specifically raises the possibility that, although there 
> are certainly other things I could be considering, right now 
> I'll limit myself to just your grammar.  

Actually, it is eliminating any discussion of anything except 
your grammar. It is not highlighting the grammar. It is not 
emphasizing the grammar. It is excluding all else but the 
grammar with no comment about anything else.

Maybe I just don't get it. We've clearly hit the point where we 
repeat things to each other and neither one seems to feel heard 
and neither one seems to be listening.

I apologize to the list in general for participating in this. 
Can some third party help us out here? I'm not trying to bully 
anyone. I'd just like to have someone explain something to one 
of us so that person could better understand the other one's 
point. If I'm the one who needs adjusting, so be it. Surely 
someone else has a useful insight on this.

> No. 3 also emphasizes, topicalizes or focuses attention on 
> {pablIj}, but in a different way.  Perhaps we had been 
> discussing your grammar earlier but then we chatted about some 
> other matters.  But something just occurred to me now and I 
> want to return to this previously mentioned topic.

I see it as "emphasizing in a different way" because it 
"emphasizes at all", which {neH} doesn't do. Obviously they 
emphasize in a different way because one emphasizes and the 
other doesn't. My belief that exclusion and emphasis are not 
different flavors of the same thing. I believe that they are 
different things.

I know this is just a point of catagorization, but it divides 
us. I wish we could come together on something.

> Ditto for no. 4, which is now an expletive: Hey! Don't try to 
> change the topic. You know very well that I'm here to talk 
> about your grammar and by G-d that's exactly what I'm going to 
> do!

It is a more passionate emphasis. I notice that you didn't 
suggest {pablIj neH vIqel jay'!} It still makes sense, but it 
doesn't fit the way you see emphasis. I suspect it would most 
make sense in the context of:

A teacher tells the student that she will consider only his 
grammar. The student proceeds to ask the teacher about a fine 
shade of meaning of one of the verbs. The teacher responds, 
{pablIj neH vIqel jay'!}. He had tried to violate the exclusion 
she had stated, so she got mad. The point is not negotiable. The 
{neH} doesn't indicate a preference or emphasis. It spells out 
the parameters of scope.

> You could probably come up with other contexts, each of which 
> affects how you understand - and translate - the sentences.


> : SuStel
> -- 
> Voragh                       
> Ca'Non Master of the Klingons

charghwI' 'utlh

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