tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Thu Jan 31 09:17:03 2002

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Re: KLBC: chay' mu'meyvam lo'lu'?

>Long ago Mark Shoulson taught me a new word in English:  analepsis.  He was
>referring to tlhIngan Hol's common usage of stating the subject of the
>sentence before using a pronoun later to recall it.  I hope I am
>understanding the meaning of this word.  Ever since then I have consciously
>used the subject explicitly in the first phrase of a complex sentence and
>referred back to it with a pronoun .

It's actually pretty common in most languages to state a noun before  using 
a pronoun to refer to it.  The noun is called the 'antecedent', which means 
thing that comes before.  However, we often use the pronoun first in English 
as well: 'Before he fixed his watch, John was often late', as opposed to: 
'Before John fixed his watch, he was often late'.  I believe the noun is 
still referred to as antecedent when it comes after the noun, although I 
suppose 'postcedent' would be a better term.

>So, I thought this was not just a personal preference.  I thought it had 
>pointed out that tlhIngan Hol normally works this way.

If it matched the pattern of most Earth languages, then normally it would; 
that is, normally a noun would be used before a pronoun that referred to it. 
  In fact, putting the noun second seems to me to be something of a 
carry-over from English, i.e., since we would generally say 'Kang believes 
he is a great warrior', with the noun on the main clause and the pronoun on 
the subordinate clause, we tend to do the same in Klingon: {SuvwI' Dun ghaH 
'e' Har qang}.  This tendency to allow one's first language to influence a 
second is called 'L1 intereference in L2'.  (As an aside, 'L2 interference 
in L3' also occurs, although usually to alesser degree; I, personally, have 
this problem with Finnish and Klingon - I find it eaiser to think about a 
Klingon sentence in terms of Finnish, since Finnish has variable word order 
and thinking OVS doesn't confuse me as it does if I'm thinking about in 
English.  But then my Finnish speech patterns influence my Klingon 

Even in Earth languages with variable word orders, pronouns tend not to be 
used until an antecedent has been used, at least in colloquial speech.  
Poetry and formal speech are, of course, another matter.  (Of course, this 
is a generalization; specific examples of languages that usually put the 
pronouns before the nouns they refer to in a sentence would be an 
interesting and welcome addition to my box of oddities.)

However, whether Okrand intentionally put the subject in this position, or 
was falling prey to the interference I mentioned, Voragh's examples seem to 
make it pretty clear that this is how he generally does it.  (I say 'seem' 
here because there may be other examples with the noun first of which I am 
unaware, being no canon master myself.)



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