tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Thu Jan 31 13:13:06 2002

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Re: KLBC: Klingon distress call (updated)

> > > > maH nuHIvtaH jagh. maHegh 'ach DIrIQ. 
> > 
> > [Okay, so if you are dead, who sent this message, and if you are
> > dead, why does the enemy continue to attack?]  
> Hegh is "die", not "be dead".
> "The enemy is attacking us.  We will die, but we injured them."

This is why I repeated the long standing suggestion that people writing Klingon 
for KLBC translate their own messages into English so one can tell for sure 
what the writer intended. Perhaps {nuHIvlI'} would have been a bit better. 
Perhaps {tugh maHegh, 'ach DIrIQmoHta'} would have been clearer.

While I don't expect beginners to necessarily write with this degree of 
clarity, I do see it as a good thing to point out when there have been 
assumptions made about tense and aspect that are not stated in the sentence.

As stated, {nuHIvtaH} means the attack is continuous with no foreseeable end, 
but {maHegh} implies an end, so they don't quite agree with each other. In 
particular, the two verbs in {maHegh 'ach DIrIQmoH} clearly do not belong to 
the same timeframe, since the injury had to have happened before the death. 
This is exactly what the perfective is for. That one sentence can't have the 
same time stamp for both verbs unless one of them has one of the two perfective 
suffixes, and of the two, {-ta'} seems most appropriate.
> DloraH, BG

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