tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Thu Jul 25 14:19:52 2002

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Adverbs, Adverbials, Whatever

Let me see if I can make this "adverb/adverbial" thing clear.

THE KLINGON DICTIONARY has a list of "adverbials."  The use of this word 
"adverbial" is not the same as the normal English grammatical meaning.  In 
English grammar, an adverbial is anything that modifies the way an action is 
performed.  This is not what the word "adverbial" means when speaking about 
Klingon.  In Klingon, the word "adverbial" is used to distinguish a specific 
set of /chuvmey/ by function from other /chuvmey/ that do not modify the 

Why did Okrand choose the word "adverbial" instead of "adverb," when it 
appears to be an incorrect use of the word?  Probably because Klingon 
linguists do not actually distinguish between adverb-type /chuvmey/ and 
other /chuvmey/; this distinction is an English-speaking one.  So there is 
no actual part of speech "adverb" in Klingon, so the word "adverbial" was 
chosen to mean "those /chuvmey/ that act in an adverbial sort of way."  (And 
Okrand does not worry much about correct grammatical terms in TKD.)

So, when speaking about Klingon, the word "adverbial" ALWAYS means those 
words in the dictionary that have their part of speech defined as "adv."  It 
does NOT mean "any word that modifies the action of a verb."

There are a number of words in Klingon that are listed more than once, as 
they are listed with more than one part of speech.  An example is /batlh/.  
There is /batlh/ "honor (n)" and /batlh/ "with honor (adv)."  Whether these 
are two separate words or the same word used in more than one part of speech 
isn't clear.  However, the parts of speech ARE spelled out for us, and we 
must assume they are correct.  If we don't see a word listed as a part of 
speech, then it isn't that part of speech.

The word /naDev/ "here (n)" is only listed as a noun.  It is not listed in 
the dictionary as an adverbial.  It can be used in any place that a noun can 
be used.  It happens to be exceptional in that it is one of three nouns that 
can be used as a locative sort of noun without having /-Daq/ attached to it. 
  /naDev/ is not an adverbial (remember, anytime we talk about Klingon 
adverbials, we do NOT mean "any word that modifies the action of the verb."  
We mean those words whose part of speech is classified in TKD as 

This discussion has all been a lot of confusion over terms.  It's clear 
everyone knows what he is talking about under his own terms.  In my opinion, 
we shouldn't alter the terms used in TKD (though using additional terms for 
discussion purposes is appropriate so long as everyone understands them -- 
they should be defined clearly and frequently).

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