tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Fri Oct 29 06:13:29 1999

Back to archive top level

To this year's listing

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next]

Re: KLBC: Undoubtedly continue to..

>From: "Klingon Honour" <>
>Date: Wed, 27 Oct 1999 17:20:00 EST
>>>jatlhpu' ngghoy: 1. How does one say "You (!) undoubtedly continue to 
>>>cause to be difficult to her on this situation" ?
>*The exclamation marks the item to be emphasised.

To emphasize the subject when it's a pronoun, just use a pronoun
explicitly, maybe even tagged with -'e'.

>>jatlhpu' Mark: I think what you're asking for here is how to get something 
>>which uses the meanings in the suffixes in the "wrong" order.
>This was exactly my point Mark! I was pondering about expressions with a 
>line of suffixes that follow in a different order to the way that I mean. I 
>thought that if the positioning of rovers is significant, what about the 
>rest of the suffixes and the possible ordering of other surrounding elements 
>like adverbs and/or a 'conjunction clause as a relative clause' all in the 
>one sentence?
>Mark's guideline of:
>1) suffix-meanings *usually* apply in (roughly) the order given.. and
>you should try other sensible orderings that make more sense, if the default 
>one doesn't work.
>This makes sense but then I can seen the possibility of ambiguity like one 
>of the earlier examples that I gave:
>{qarchu'be'} or {qarbe'chu'}?

Well, remember the motivation for the guideline.  It probably means the
obvious thing (suffixes applied in order), but might mean something with a
different ordering *because* there's only one right way to order the
suffixes.  This reasoning doesn't apply to rovers.  If someone meant to say
{qarbe'chu'} or {qarchu'be'}, there's nothing preventing either ordering,
so you should expect the rovers to be in the right places, and {-be'} is a
rover (obviously I'm referring to "true" rovers, as opposed to {-Ha'} and
{-Qo'}, whose positions are fixed.)  Anyone who says {qarchu'be'} to mean
{qarbe'chu'} is making a mistake.  You should only have to consider
alternative orderings when (a) the alternative orderings could not have
been presented on the surface, since they're ungrammatical, and (b) the
default ordering doesn't quite work.

>The actual written sentence was: qarchu'be'
>However, I felt the context indicated the meaning of "(this is) clearly not 
>true" - possible, especially if one grants that the writer could have made a 
>common slip up and left the be' in the "default" position on the end of the 
>But then again, maybe it really DID mean "It is not clearly/completely
>accurate" (pagh) or colloqially "That's not quite right." (Alan) and it was 
>I who misinterpreted it.

Exactly.  There are two possibilities here, I think.  (1) you made a
mistake in your interpretation, and what was implied by the suffix ordering
really is what was meant, (2) the writer made a mistake in writing, and
should have ordered the suffixes correctly.  (the third possibility, namely
that *my* analysis could be in error, must of course be rejected out of
hand as being completely absurd).

>If context in tlhIngan Hol still leaves ambiguity, what have we left?

Same thing you get in every other language... *even* Lojban (which does not
diminish its ability to be unambiguous when it needs to be.  Check it


Back to archive top level