tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Wed May 15 17:04:44 2002

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Re: help with "Floreat Majestas"

> ja'
> >...Maybe this business of having direct
> >objects preceed the verb has more significance than we've been giving it.
> >Perhaps the association between the direct object and the verb is more
> >important in Klingon than that between the subject and the verb.
> Perhaps you're overthinking it. :-) 

I'll accept that, if that's the general consensus.

> Or perhaps you're not thinking it
> through far enough, and it's not just objects which have a tight connection
> to the verb.  Consider the holiday proverb from PK {Hoch DaSopbe'chugh
> batlh bIHeghbe'} and notice that {batlh Hegh} seems to be a closely
> associated pair of words. 

I had trouble with this example when I first saw it and I still have some 
trouble resolving how to take this as right and also take other examples as 
right. Meanwhile, perhaps, in Klingon there's some sort of prioritization of 
helper words. First, consider the direct object-verb connection. If there's no 
direct object, consider the subject. If there's no subject or object, consider 
the adverb.

While it does seem like it's stretching things, it would explain this example 
better than anything else I've heard yet. I honestly think Okrand came up with 
this example and then grinned, thinking, "Let's see how they do with THIS one."

> Maybe {wa'leS qaghomQo'} is more like "I refuse
> to (meet you tomorrow)" than like "Tomorrow, I will refuse to meet you."

I could see that these two shades of meaning may not exist separately in 
Klingon. In both interpretations, the would-be meeting is tomorrow and the 
statement is today, and tomorrow's meeting won't happen. 

This is similar to the way that it is really okay to not allow Type 7 on the 
second verb of SAO because the vast majority of the time, whether we like the 
feel of it or not, putting the Type 7 on the first verb yields the same 
effective meaning.

> Or maybe there's no real overriding connection, and things are actually a
> lot less rigorous than you might want them to be.

While this is possible, that leaves a lot of examples (like {batlh bIHeghbe'}) 
as simply opaque, without any predictable structure. We can just put words 
together and claim they mean what we want them to mean and everything becomes 
an idiom. Whoever nails a specific meaning to an idiom first wins.
> >So, what's your verdict? Does this idea fly or flounder?
> I think it's an insightful observation, and it will likely be a worthwhile
> addition to your personal model of how Klingon works.  However, I don't
> think it's a particularly useful idea to include in a set of Klingon "rules
> of grammar".  I see it as a descriptive concept, not a prescriptive one.

I can accept that.
> -- ghunchu'wI'


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