tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Thu Sep 26 16:15:17 2002

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Re: Dajatlhbogh

ja' ter'eS:
>...QAO is such a ubiquitous
>expression in English, too, that the Klingon equivalent (or
>lack thereof) is a pretty major topic.

The thing is, QAO is *not* something that happens in English.  The
interrogative "who" and "what" and "why" etc. have non-interrogative
counterparts in English, called relative pronouns.  Other languages have
separate spellings for the two different uses (accented porqué vs.
non-accented porque in Spanish, for example).  The use of the Klingon
chuvmey {'Iv} and {nuq} and {qatlh} etc. in sentences which don't ask
questions is what makes QAO a problem.

"I don't know what you said" could be {nuq Dajatlh 'e' vISovbe'}, except
that {nuq} is supposed to ask a question.  The argument is that the
question is a rhetorical one, though in that case the interpretation of the
pronoun {'e'} needs to be expanded to include unstated answers to
not-quite-asked questions.

>The headless relative, on the other hand, is fairly obscure,
>not often used in English and seldom discussed on the list.

It seems to me that what sometimes gets translated as QAO in Klingon *is*
pretty much a headless relative in English.

"I don't know what you said" could be {Dajatlhbogh vISovbe}, except that
{-bogh} is supposed to go on a word in a relative clause which describes a
noun.  The argument is that the noun is implicitly there (in spirit, as it
were) and has been omitted because it's understood.

-- ghunchu'wI'

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