tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Wed Jun 19 11:17:25 2002

Back to archive top level

To this year's listing

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next]

Re: comparatives

charghwI' complained:
> >>qatlh nger lughbe' qonbogh HaDwI' DIv law', nger lughbe' pabbogh neH 
> HaDwI'
> >>DIv puS?
> >
> >Note in an old grammarian's corner that Krankor was very disappointed to 
> hear
> >from Okrand that you can't stretch a comparative sentence that far. You 
> often

Anyone have this reference?

> >You can't use an adjective on A or B in A Q law' B Q puS.

ghuy'Do wa' responded:
>Actually, that's not even what I did, and to my knowledge I don't do this in
>general. I don't deny that my sentence is difficult to parse, even
>syntactically ambiguous due to the -bogh's. But the noun phrases under
>comparison do not have adjectivals. Rather, they are heads of relative
>clauses. Here is the parse of my sentence.
>A=(nger lughbe' qonbogh HaDwI')
>B=(nger lughbe' pabbogh neH HaDwI')
>"Why is a student who formulates an incorrect theory more guilty than a
>student who merely follows an incorrect theory?"
>    [....]
>The Q is occupying what appears to be an adjectival position, so a real
>adjectival in the noun phrase would kind of get in the way. This restriction
>need not worry us as long as A and B are still allowed to be heads of
>relative clauses. And I know that they are because of Skybox 7:
>"DujvamDaq tlhIngan nuH tu'lu'bogh pov law' Hoch pov puS."

ghuy'Do should have quoted the full text:

   DujvamDaq tlhIngan nuH tu'lu'bogh pov law' Hoch pov puS 'ej DujvamDaq
   'op SuvwI' tu'lu'bogh po' law' tlhIngan yo' SuvwI' law' po' puS.

   It [the IKV Pagh] has the best weapons and some of the finest warriors
   in the Klingon fleet.

This sentence contains *two* law'/puS formulae connected by {'ej} 
"and".  Breaking these down we have:

   <DujvamDaq tlhIngan nuH tu'lu'bogh> pov law' Hoch pov puS
   "the Klingon weapons which are found on this ship are the most excellent"

   <DujvamDaq 'op SuvwI' tu'lu'bogh> po' law' <tlhIngan yo' SuvwI' law'> 
po' puS
   "some of the warriors who are found on this ship are more skilled than the
   Klingon fleet's many warriors"

> >You can't use an adjective on A or B in A Q law' B Q puS.

Judging from the second law'/puS, apparently you can.  The "adjective" 
{law'} modifies the noun phrase {tlhIngan yo' SuvwI'} in the B slot.  In 
fact, not only did Okrand use another quality to modify B, but he actually 
used {law'} "be many" itself, at the risk of confusing the careless reader!

It appears that Okrand may have reconsidered his position after his 
conversation with Krankor.  (Was SkyBox 7 published after they talked?)

>While I don't regard Krankor's personal conversations with Okrand as true
>canon, I do see the justification for forbidding adjectivals in comparatives.

Okrand's statements to Krankor are certainly canonical if Lawrence 
published them in KLI's journal "HolQeD" for the benefit of all 
Klingonists.  If, however, Krankor merely mentioned them casually, say over 
dinner or in a private email, then I wouldn't consider them officially 
binding... although I would certainly take them as indications of how the 
language works.  (In fact, I try to collect all of Okrand's casual 
convention conversations for reference.)  Note: such comments shouldn't be 
considered canon not because they're personal or private conversations per 
se, but because they haven't been published someplace accessible to others.

Ca'Non Master of the Klingons

Back to archive top level