tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Thu May 27 09:15:08 1999

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Re: Word order revisited

qa'ral (responding to Voragh):  
: All the talk about mojaq /-ghach/ and mu' /quv/ has got me wondering about
: word order. qen jabbI'IDghom Daq "<-'e'> mojaq" vIlegh.  qonlaw' voragh. 
: This would be in keeping with the Specific>Generic order of phrases like
: /neghvar may'Duj/ and /ghorqon Qang/, but canonic counterexamples are
: probably not hard to come by (ngeng lurSor?).
: I've long thought that the essence of the N-N construction is that N1
: restricts the set of items implied by N2.  /yaS taj/ = of the universe of
: knives, the one belonging to the officer.  So, titles seem to me to fit
: perfectly: /tlha'a HoD/ = of the universe of captains, the one who is Klaa.
: They're not really appositives, which start with the more general term,
: followed by the specific instances of that term.
qa'ral again:
: qatlho'!  A very nice statement of what I was groping for, revealing a

: principle at work behind the word order of N-N constructions, titles, and
: place names (e.g., nomat DIS).  I'm still unclear, though, as to how we
: distinguish *mojaq /-'e'/* as an appositive and thereby know to reverse the
: word order.  It would seem to fit rather nicely into the larger category: 
: among the class of suffixes, the one we identify as /'e'/.  In this case,
: logic would dictate */-'e'/ mojaq* and */quv/ mu'*.  Is *mu' /quv/* an
: imitation of English word order or is there a basis in canon?

[Sorry for the belated answer; I've been very busy IRL.]

qa'ral is correct.  That was exactly my thinking when I put the general tag
{mojaq} after the specific suffix name {-'e'}: that it works like ranks,
and some geographical names.  

A couple of relevant quotes from "Klingon for the Galactic Traveller", which
qa'ral doesn't have with him in Moscow:

  "The leader of a house is afforded the title {joH}, usually translated as 
  Lord. This title is also used to refer to his wife, translated as Lady. If 
  the title is used along with the name, one puts the name first, as is the 
  case with all titles: {Qugh joH} (Lord Kruge), {ghIrIlqa' joH} (Lady 
  Grilka)." (KGT p.40f)

  "When used with an individual's name, a title follows the name: {tlha'a
  (Captain Klaa), {cheng Sa'} (General Chang), {qeng la'} (Commander Kang), 
  and so on." (KGT p.52) 

  "If someone has an official title, such as a military rank or a position in 
  the government, this title follows the name; for example, {martaq Sa'} 
  (General Martok), {ghawran Qang} (Chancellor Gowron). When addressing such 
  a person, the title is left off only when the occasion is decidedly 
  nonofficial." (KGT p.197f)

We have also seen geographical names (primarily from KGT) work this way too:

  ghevchoq Sep      Gevchok region
  Qotmagh Sep       Krotmag region
  Sa'Qej Sep        Sakrej region
  veng wa'DIch Sep  First City region
  voSpegh Sep       Vospeg region
  HuD beQ yoS       Flat Mountain district
  tlhIng yoS        Kling District
  'Iw bIQtIq        the River of Blood (i.e. "Blood River")

Ship names, however, are a mixed bag.  The tag/label can follow the name:

  qIvo'rIt toQDuj   K'Vort-class Bird-of-Prey S7
  qItI'nga' Duj     the K'Tinga-class  S15 [sic]

or it may precede it:

  tlhIngan wo' Duj pagh    The Imperial Klingon Vessel Pagh S7
  qItI'nga Duj tI'ang      this [K'Tinga] class, the T'Ong  S15
  DIvI' 'ejDo' 'entepray'  the USS Enterprise S15

These last three may actually be examples of apposition.  They have alternate
translations that would make sense in context:

  an imperial Klingon vessel, the Pagh, ...
  a K'Tinga (class) ship, the T'Ong, ...
  a Federation starship, the Enterprise, ...

If I'm correct, the ship designations USS and IKS/IKV act as appositive
preceding ship names (as in English), not titles/class names following
them, in

FYI, one unambiguous example of apposition comes from SkyBox card S26:

  DuraS tuq tlhIngan yejquv patlh luDub 'e' reH lunIDtaH DuraS
   be'nI'pu' lurSa' be'etor je.
  The sisters of the House of Duras, Lursa and B'Etor, are constantly
   seeking a higher standing for the House of Duras within the Klingon
   High Council.

So I would say, with qa'ral, at least until Okrand uses them:  {neghvar
may'Duj} Negh'Var-class battleship, {ghorqan Qang} Chancellor Gorkon, {no'mat
DIS} the Cave(s) of No'Mat, {luSor ngeng} Lake Lusor, {SIQal bIQtIq} the River
Skraal, {QIStaq qulHuD} the Kri'stak Volcano ({*qulHuD} is not canon of
course), and so on.

Ca'Non Master of the Klingons

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