tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Thu Mar 21 10:17:33 2002

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Re: [KLBC] comparing in tlhIngan Hol

> From: "DOOM_er" <>
> > "My knowledge is greater [bigger] than ever."
> >
> > I came up with:
> >
> > DaH SovwIj tIn law' ret SovwIj tIn puS
> >
> > But it's not very elegant and I don't even know if it's possible that way.
> > Any suggestions?
> I think it would be a very elegant solution if /DaH/ were a noun.  Since
> it's actually one of the /chuvmey/, an adverbial, you're not comparing "now
> knowledge" with "past knowledge," you're comparing "knowledge" with "past
> knowledge," and saying the comparison is valid "now."  (I don't see any
> compelling reason why a noun like /ret/ can't be used alone -- Okrand tells
> us how /ret/ is used to refer to a specific amount of time in the past in
> the HolQeD article which introduces it; he doesn't tell us how it MUST be
> used.  /ret SovwIj/ makes a perfectly good noun-noun construction.)

That's an interesting idea. If we consider this, we might also consider {SovwIj 
ret}, since the examples we have of {ret} in canon always have it following 
that which it modifies. While we're at it, we might also consider {retwIj Sov} 
and {Sov retwIj}, since it can be thought of as "my past's knowledge" as easily 
as it can be thought of as "the past of my knowledge" or any other word order 
arrangement that proves to be most meaningful.

There's the rub. Which way would a Klingon prefer? We're clueless. We can 
guess, and I guess we SHOULD guess rather than sit, fearful of speaking 
wrongly, but while we guess, we should be fully aware of how insecure we are of 
being right. We have one method of using {ret} and {pIq} that we know is right 
because Okrand was very clear in describing it. Likely these words can be used 
in other settings, but we don't know how, and because it is arbitrary and 
several very different options make sense, we're living in denial if we think 
we can just figure this out without hearing more from Maltz.

> I've also never been thrilled using /tIn/ to talk about something that's not
> physically big. 

Agreed. I would have, for example, been more comfortable if the recent 
Shakespeare script title had been {paghmo' law' mIS} instead of {paghmo' tIn 

> Knowledge doesn't have physical size; how can it be big?
> It can be "great" or "impressive."  In Star Trek V, Vixis describes Klaa as
> having the potential to be the "greatest warrior in the galaxy," and uses
> the verb /Dun/ "wonderful" to do it.

The suffix {-'a'} also is often used to convey this, and in some settings {-
na'} is worthy of consideration.
> Ultimately, I don't see a good way to do this without breaking it up into
> multiple sentences.  You can do it if you lose the nice symmetry in the
> law'/puS:
> DaH De' vISovbogh pov law' ret SovwIj pov puS.

That works for me. There's also the simpler:

SovwIj vIDubta'.

Sometimes, the right verb can save us from struggling with grammatical 
constructions that are stretched to the point of awkwardness. In this case, I 
don't think SuStel's example is very awkward at all, though I suspect that 
{law'/puS} gets a lot less use among Klingons than we are tempted to use it as 
English speakers. We want to say things like, "My ship is faster than yours," 
and we can't. The words just aren't there. Instead, we need to cope with 
recastings like, {reH DujlIj juSlaHtaH DujwIj.}
> Substitute in your preferred verb for /pov/ if you like.  The /DaH/ can be
> interpreted either as an adverbial for the whole sentence, or as an
> adverbial for /vISovbogh/.


> SuStel
> Stardate 2218.1


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