tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Fri Aug 23 17:02:33 2002

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Re: grammer question

DOOM_er asks:

>Can I say /lIvan tugh Heghbogh loDpu'/ or is that grammatically incorrect?

Since you asked the entire list, I'll comment before the BG as I recognize 
the quotation:

   Morituri te salutari.
   "Those who are about to die salute you."

>In other words, can the /tugh/ be there?

Unfortunately, no.  Klingon syntax is fairly rigid.  Adverbials go before 
the entire OVS string, even if it contains a relative clause.  Probably the 
only way to do this in standard Klingon is to break it into two smaller 
clauses separated with semi-colons (as Okrand does on occasion):

   tugh Hegh loDpu'; lIvan.
   The men die soon; they salute you.

   lIvan loDpu'; tugh Hegh.
   The men salute you; they die soon.

or by the useful suffix {-mo'}:

   tugh Heghmo' loDpu', lIvan.
   Because the men will die soon, they salute you.

FYI: as I was checking my notes for similar constructions, I came upon this 
interesting bit from KGT (p.42) about archaic survivals in "modern" Klingon:

   Sometimes, a modern Klingon word is used but with an archaic meaning [...]
   Along the same lines, in an archaic form of Klingon, {ru'} meant something
   like "ready to collapse or die." It was used to describe weakened prey or a
   weakened enemy, but it was also applied to food (particularly fresh organs)
   meant to be eaten while still alive or just recently so, the implication
   being that if it were not eaten quickly, it would soon be no good. Upper-
   class Klingons still use the word in this latter sense, referring, for
   example to {qagh ru'} ("serpent worms about to die"). The modern meaning
   of {ru'}, derived from the earlier senses, is "be temporary." Except in
   upper-class settings, {qagh ru'} would be interpreted as "temporary serpent
   worms," which would not make much sense at all. [...] Among the lower 
   --except for those working as servants for the higher classes--words 
like ...
   jot and ru' are used only in their modern senses.

Since you're translating an ancient quotation, using this archaic meaning 
of {ru'} to translate  Latin *morituri* "those who are about to die" is 
certainly compelling:

   lIvan loDpu' ru'.

To an educated Klingon, though, calling them {loDpu' ru'} would probably 
conjure up an image of exhausted, barely alive men who had already fought 
long and hard.  IIRC this Latin salutation was usually given IIRC by 
gladiators at the beginning of their match, not at the end.  Still, it does 
has a nice feel to it.

Ca'Non Master of the Klingons

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