tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Tue Nov 19 19:52:12 2002

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Re: KLBC: Complex Sentences

At 05:28 15/11/2002 -0600, you wrote:
>I seem to be having some extra difficulty with complex sentences--at 
>least, although I think I remember the syntax I seem to have a tendency to 
>put them together wrongly.  So here are some of the various types for 
>practice, and I trust that Quvar will correct me if any are wrong.

I don't see any problems with the type-9s, but you need to address your 
overuse of the perfective.  Do you know what it means?  It does not mean 
that the action is in the past at the time you say the sentence, it means 
that the action is completed at the time the sentence is set.  It's kind of 
like the inverse of -pa'.

>Subordinate clauses
>Qonatlh vIjotmoHlaHpa', Qay'pu'.
>Before I could calm Kronatz down, he blew his top.

The sentence is set "before you could calm him down."  So what you have 
said is "before I could calm him down, he had already blown his top,"  The 
implication is that he completed blowing his top before you could calm him 
down, when I think it's the starting to blow his top that you were actually 
concerned about. You were trying to hurry over to calm him down, but too 
late, he'd already blown.  Or did you mean that he was blowing his top and 
you were going to go over and calm him down, but he ran out of steam and 
stopped on his own.

>mu'qotlhta'DI' qoronIn, jImoghchoHpu'.
>When Koronin tickled me, I became frustrated.

This one is really blatant.  When is this set?  Some time after the 
completion of the frustration and the ticling.  Why is it set then?  What 
is it relative to?  It doesn't make a lot of sense without something else 
taking place in that future (or past) context.

What you have written is,
"When Koronin had finished tickling me, I had become frustrated."
"When Koronin is done tickling me, I will have already become frustrated."
"When Koronin finishes tickling me, I have become frustrated."

So you see, the perfective does not set the sentence in the past.  You need 
a time stamp for that, (like "yesterday").

muqotlhDI' qoronIn jImoghchoH.

"I get frustrated when K. tickles me."
"I got frustrated when K. tickled me."
"I will get frustrated when K. tickles me."

Just noticed that I reversed the order of your clauses in translation.  No 
particular reason.

>Relative clauses
>lImpu'bogh anDorngan vIHoH.
>I killed the Andorian who panicked.

I would translate your sentence as "I killed the Andorian who panicked 

>narghta' Duj vIHIvpu'bogh!
>The ship (that) I attacked escaped!

Using two perfectives makes it difficult for the perfective to do its 
job.  What's the timeline here?

The ship escaped while you were attacking it? (at the time of the sentence, 
the attack is ongoing)
nargh Duj vIHIvlI'bogh

You attacked it, and it escaped while you stopped to reload? (i.e. at the 
time of the sentence, nothing is complete)
nargh Duj vIHIvbogh

You attacked the ship, looted it, captured slaves, went back to your own 
ship to party, and then the ship escaped?
nargh Duj vIHIvpu'bogh  (at the time of the sentence, the attack was complete)

The ship escaped, so you attacked it, and now you are defending your 
actions to the admiral who told you not to attack any more ships?
narghta' Duj vIHIvbogh  (at the time of the attack, the escape was complete)

More likely
narghlI' Duj vIHIvbogh (at the time of the sentence, the escape was underway)

>Purpose clauses
>tera'ngan vIHeQmoHmeH vIjoy'ta'.
>To make the human comply I tortured him.

For the simple statement, vIjoy' is correct.  You sentence talks about 
torture you do earlier to make him comply at the time of the sentence.
"I will ensure the Terran complies by torturing him earlier."

>mutojta'meH jeghta' vulqangan.
>The Vulcan surrendered to deceive me.

This is simple past.  Loose the -ta'-mey.

>Sentences as objects
>qantaH ghojmoHwI' 'e' muqawmoHmeH qanta' tlheta'.
>To remind me that the teacher was old, Kleta pointed her little finger.
>(qejchoHba'ta' ghojmoHwI'.)

qanta' "she had already pointed"  

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