tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Tue Jan 05 09:22:08 1999

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Re: My old neighbor

On Tue, 5 Jan 1999 09:11:59 -0800 (PST) voragh
<> wrote:

> : Voragh jang charghwI':
> : >>  poH nI' jupwI' ghaH matlh Qup'e'
> : >>  Young Maltz is my long-time friend.
> : >
> : >I don't see the grammmatical function of {poH} here. Are you
> : >using a noun-noun here?...
> : 
> : Voragh's {poH nI' jupwI'} has a parallel in {lo' law' lojmIt}
> : from the Bird-of-Prey poster.  I saw his intended grammatical
> : usage immediately, and I don't [he wrote, with only a *very*
> : small amount of trepidation] have a problem with it.  (It's a
> : close analog of {cha'vatlh ben HIq} too, but not close enough
> : to make a useful argument.)
> : 
> : -- ghunchu'wI'
> Okrand cited the phrase {poH nI'} "a long time" in KGT p.121 as a less
> imaginative alternative to the well-known idiom {wa'maH cha' pemmey wa'maH
> cha'
> rammey je} "twelve days and twelve nights" from the Kahless myth. 
> Unfortunately, I don't believe he used either of them in a sentence.
> While it may or may not be idiomatic, I imagine {poH nI' jupwI'} "my friend of
> a long time" would, at least, be understandable said by an alien. 

I can accept that. I was just looking for better alternatives. I 
still don't see anything especially wrong with {jup ngo'}. I see 
that as quite distinct from {jup qan) and the distinction would 
seem to be exactly what you are looking for.

> The whole
> point of this thread was that we *don't* know yet how Klingons refer to an
> "old
> friend" vs. an "elderly friend", if in fact they make this distinction.  For
> all we know, Klingons may well say colloquially *{jupwI' tIQ} "my ancient
> friend" for one or the other.   And before charghwI' complains again, I'm
> quite
> aware {tIQ} was used just once to refer to an object:
>  nejwI' tIQ 'oH. 
>  [It's] A probe of ancient origin.  (ST5)

I don't know why you'd expect a complaint. {nejwI' tIQ 'oH} has 
exactly the same meaning as {tIQ nejwI'}. I never suspected that 
{tIQ} could not be used adjectivally. I do expect that it can't 
take an object. I would object to that, but not to anything 
you've presented on its use. I do think that {jupwI' tIQ} would 
mean the same thing as {jupwI' qanqu'}, while {jupwI' ngo'} 
would be the other kind of "old".
> Idioms are by their very nature unpredictable.  Some are actually
> understandable when translated.  What's a tired cliche in one language may
> sound fresh or witty to speakers of another.  But while we're waiting for
> Maltz
> to enlighten us, we have to make do.
So why not use {ngo'}?
> -- 
> Voragh                       
> Ca'Non Master of the Klingons

charghwI' 'utlh

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