tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Tue Jan 01 23:46:32 2002

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Re: QAO?! question as antecedent of 'e'!!

>It's not the grammar that we can deal with here.  All the grammar says is
>that /'e'/ stands in for a sentence, and since questions and commands are
>sentences, the conclusion some come to is that questions as objects must be
>allowed.  Why would someone refuse to use a Type 5 suffix on a subject noun
>(besides /'e'/) and still use a question as an object?  Both are allowed by
>the rules, but very few ever try to claim that, for instance, locative 
>can be used as subjects.  Why?  Because they want Klingon to mimic what 
>do in English, or related languages.  I can say "I don't know if you
>abandoned your duty station" in English, so people desperately a parallel
>construction in Klingon.  Why can't there just not be one?

>I get the feeling that this whole thing is being argued about once again
>simply because people feel like arguing about it.  Everyone denies actually
>WANTING to use questions as objects, but then they see there's no written
>rule against it, and they dance and caper around, point, and chuckle, "Ha
>ha!  Lookie, lookie!  I can use a question as object and you can't say I'm
>wrong!  Hoo hoo!"
>Would everyone who wants the believe questions as objects are legitimate
>please raise their hands?

I believe that, in the absence of specific prohibition, they are legitimate. 
  I don't use them because of the contention they engender.

The difference between QAO and the type 5 suffix examples you gave is that 
those examples make no sense.  Someone earlier quoted Chomsky's 'colorless 
green ideas' example.  That's a perfectly grammatical usage, but it makes no 
sense.  It's a question of semantics, not grammar.

The idea that staments should be allowed but questions and orders should not 
is like saying that verbs which express volition or desire should not use 
{'e'} when other verbs that take SAO do.  In the absence of specific rule 
stating that such words are an exception to the {'e'} rule, it would be 
folly to assume that the rule applies to certain kinds of verbs but not to 
others.  However, we do have such a specific example in the case of {neH}.  
In the absence of a specific rule stating that certain kinds of sentences 
(i.e, statements) are valid in SAO, and other kinds (i.e, questions and 
orders) are not, I think it's invalid to assume such a distinction.  The 
grammatical rule is Sentence As Object, not Statement As Object.

My stand on QAO is this:
1) There's no grammatical reason not to.
2) There's no semantic reason no to.
3) There's a pretty big social reason not to (it bothers some people in the 
Klingon-speaking community A LOT).

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