tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Sat Jul 13 09:23:39 2002

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Re: grammar questions

From: "Tad Stauffer" <>

> I agree that there are times when people might erroneously use {'e' X-lu'}
> when they really should use {net}. However, I think that {net} doesn't
> encompass every meaning of {'e' X-lu'}, and they aren't necessarily the
> exact same thing. {'e' X-lu'} doesn't always mean "one" or "someone", so I
> don't think {net} must *always* replace {'e' X-lu'}.

This is a very neat idea, though I'm not totally convinced.  My concern lies
in the passage on TKD p. 66 that explains when to use /net/.  I was always
of the opinion that "the intended meaning is 'one' or 'someone'" was a
shorthand way to describe the concept of indefinite subject, which had
already been mentioned elsewhere.

Can your idea explain the instances of /'e' X-lu'/ that Okrand has used?
The two I remember are

yInlu'taH 'e' bajnISlu'
yay chavlu' 'e' bajnISlu'

on TKW p. 125.

You would think that these would be interpreted as "One needs to earn that
one continues to live" and "One needs to earn that one achives victory," not
"Someone unspecified needs to earn that someone unspecified/anyone in
general continues to live" and "Someone unspecified needs to earn that
someone unspecified/anyone in general achives victory."

(In the first verb of each of these sentences, we don't have any reason to
distinguish between "someone unspecified" and "someone in general."  In the
second verb of each sentence, by the proposed idea, the meaning MUST be
"someone unspecified," or else /net/ would have been used.)

Even with this suggestion for /net/, I think the proverbs should have been

yInlu'taH net bajnIS
yay chavlu' net bajnIS

and that we must either accept that they're proverbs with special
grammatical rules, or else a mistake by Okrand or the Klingon who told them
to him.

Can someone else provide us with another /'e' X-lu'/ sentence by Okrand (if
there is one) that might lead to agreement with the idea that /'e' X-lu'/
means something different than /net X/?

Stardate 2531.4

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