tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Mon Apr 22 10:55:17 2002

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Re: 'e' vIneH

> A month or so ago, this was posted by SuStel:
> >Spoken by Azetbur during her meeting with her advisors.  They were talking
> >about attacking instead of negotiating for help with the effects of the
> >destruction of Praxis.  I believe her exact quote is /'e' neHbe' vavoy/,
> >though the subtitle reads, "That wasn't what my father wanted."  A good
> >translation: using "daddy" in the English would have seemed silly.

"Dear Old Dad would not have wanted that."

> >Notice also that the rule that /'e'/ isn't used with /neH/ is broken,
> >presumably because it wasn't HER sentence she was referring to, and needed
> >SOME kind of object in there.  I suspect this is common if using /neH/ to
> >add to someone else's sentence.

Likely, this is true. Okrand does say to study usage in order to understand the 
grammar better.
> What if I wanted to use {neH} with a previous sentence of my own, as an 
> afterthought, or at least separate thought:
> DIS veb "Europe" vIleng.  'e' vIneH.
> I'm travelling to Europe next year.  At least I'd like to.

If you want to make sure it seems like a separate thought, add an explicit 
object for {neH} so that slot can't be filled by the previous sentence:

DIS veb *Europe* vIleng. lengvetlh vIneH.

> When saying this aloud, I would pause, to indicate these were separate 
> thoughts, and saying just {vIneH} after a pause seems to leave the verb with 
> no object (that's how it feels to me, anyway).  Although I guess it could be 
> interpreted as a simple non-sequitur:
> I'm travelling to Europe next year.  I want it.
> This leaves me thinking, 'Want what?'.

Do you want it separate or not? Just make up your mind and express your intent. 
If you waffle, then it will sound like you are waffling.
> Please, no advice that I should just say:
> DIS veb "Europe" vIleng vIneH.
> Sure, when I'm sitting here writing, I could delete the punctuation and 
> simply add {vIneH}  But if I were speaking, I couldn't delete the pause I'd 
> just made.  (Just trying to forestall the inevitable "You're making it too 
> complex" response.)

It sounds like you are fixating on a problem that a person speaking the 
language would never worry about. You want there to be a shade of meaning that 
people will pay special attention to in a place where conversational language 
doesn't worry about such peculiarities.

When people talk in any language, they think while talking and much of what 
they say is grammatically incorrect or imprecise, but since each phrase exists 
within a larger context, as each phrase is parsed, it is compared to that 
context. If it enhances or extends that context, it is accepted. If it is at 
odds with the context and the continuing context continues to be at odds with 
it, it is usually ignored. If it is less obviously at odds with the context, 
the person talking with you will probably ask you to more precisely explain 
what you meant.

This is why you must write more precisely than you talk. Writing is not 
interactive. A reader doesn't get to ask you for clarification. Your context 
must be self-consistent with exceptions explained fully enough for all the 
context to hang together.

I'll also comment that when you say, "And please don't give me X advice..." it 
sounds a bit presumptive on your part. It's like you want your problem to be so 
special that it has to be handled just so.

In this list, we are all members. We meet as peers with widely varied talents 
and experiences. Things are generally smoother when we don't try to control the 
responses to what we've said by setting up criteria we want met before others 
have their chance to respond as they are most naturally driven to respond. For 
all you know, you might be shutting down a useful response from an angle 
slightly different from that which you presumed.

That's not intended to be an attack; just simple advice. Ignore it if you 
mistakenly find it offensive.


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