tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Thu May 16 11:04:19 2002

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Re: [KLBC] SISpu'

This thread has gotten confusing enough that I feel compelled to make one thing 
very clear for all beginners:

Locatives are not subjects or objects. They are locatives. When you put {-Daq} 
on a noun, it has to go somewhere before the place the direct object would go 
in the sentence. It's that simple.

It doesn't try to be subject. It doesn't try to be object. It just goes before 
the place the direct object would go, and it is a locative. It either tells you 
where the action happens, or if the action involves some sort of target or 
destination, like {legh, Qeq, baH, bach}, etc., it can tell you where that 
target or destination is. That's it.

Some verbs do have direct objects that are the destination, target or locative 
noun. These are exceptional verbs {ghoS, 'el, jaH, bav, Dab}, etc. In this 
case, {HaD} is not one of those special verbs, so {*RIT*Daq jIHaD} just 
means "I study" and additionally tells us that the place where this studying 
happens is named "RIT". The place is neither a subject nor an object.

In general, with the rare exception of {-'e'}, when you see a Type 5 noun 
suffix on a noun, that noun is not a subject nor an object. The Type 5 noun 
suffix is a syntax marker. It's whole reason for Type 5 noun suffixes is to 
explain to you what this noun is doing in the sentence, since it is not a 
subject nor an object.

It can be the location or target (-Daq} or the original source of something in 
motion {-vo'} or the beneficiary or indirect object (-vaD}, or the reason or 
cause of the action {-mo'}. Meanwhile, none of these are the subject of the 
action, nor the object of the action.

Clear your mind of any idea that a noun with a Type 5 suffix (except sometimes 
{-'e'}) can be the subject or object. Subject and object are syntactic roles, 
and a Type 5 noun suffix defines the syntactic role of a noun. Subjects and 
objects don't need Type 5 suffixes because their syntactic role is revealed by 
their position in the sentence relative to the verb. Objects preceed the verb 
and subjects follow it.

The suffix {-'e'} is exceptional because it has two different syntactic 
meanings. When it is a topic marker as described in TKD, it goes before the 
position of the direct object, just like any other Type 5 suffixed noun. It 
gives you the topic of the sentence and then lets the rest of the sentence fill 
in the details. 

You can translate {HoDpu''e' pup Qanqor} several ways:

"As for captains, Krankor is excellent. [Most captains are jerks.]"
"Krankor is an excellent captain. [He's a lousy cook, but he's a great 
"Among captains, Krankor is excellent. [Among admirals, he's only so-so.]"

The point here is that the topic of the sentence is captains and the statement 
is about Krankor being excellent. Essentially, we are setting the scope of the 
context within which the sentence will be applied.

In usage, Okrand has also used {-'e'} to indicate emphasis or focus, though 
this is never described in the rules in TKD. This is a different syntactic role 
than topic. A noun can be a focal point of a sentence even while it is the 
subject or object of a sentence. 

{pup Qanqor'e'.} "KRANKOR is excellent." I'm probably correcting you because 
you just said something suggesting that I believed someone other than Krankor 
is excellent, and I'm setting you straight.

The suffix {-'e'} also has a couple other odd jobs. You always use it on the 
subject of "to be" sentences. Dujvam HoD ghaH Qanqor'e'. "Krankor is the 
captain of this ship." This is simple syntactic convention. Don't ask why. Just 
do it.

It is also used in a special way in some relative clauses, but maybe your brain 
is full and you can learn about that later. You probably don't need to know 
that now.

I hope this helps. I try to be clear when I sense clarity is called for.


> On Thursday, May 16, 2002, at 12:59 AM, (Captain Krankor) 
> > >> jIHaD RITDaq.
> >> I see now: "RIT"Daq would have been the _object_ at this point.
> >> (talking about MY(subject) STUDIES(verb) at RIT(object))
> >
> >Actually, it would have been trying to be the SUBJECT.
> Err... in the ENGLISH.. (or the _correct_ klingon version).
> but yes, in my mistranslation, RITDaq _would_ have trying to be the subject.
> .....
> And that's as far as I got. Too little time...
> -qoreQ (WOTD boy!)
> ----------------
> PGP: 0x2F4E9C31
> ----------------

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