tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Tue Dec 04 16:43:18 2007

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Re: Savan (was: Basic grammar question)

QeS 'utlh (

I actually did receive mI'qey's original message, but for some reason my response seems to have been eaten again. But fortunately it's given me some more time to mull over the question.

ghItlhpu' mI'qey, ja':
>As a (the?) perpetrator of {Hoch Savan}, I'd be glad
>to know how to say this more acceptably.

As SuStel has said, {Savan} is perfectly okay to communicate what you mean. In English we're used to adding the qualifier "all" to disambiguate between second person singular and second person plural. Klingon has no such need. I get the feeling that you may (subconsciously and unintentionally, I'm sure) be trying to translate "I salute you all" in a slightly too literal fashion. (I just had a realisation, too: according to the prefix trick, {Hoch Savan} literally means "I salute everyone/everything for you all".)

>Would {Hoch tlhiH Savan} serve? Or does this run afoul
>of the injunction SuStel cites against using pronouns as
>nouns except for "emphasis or added clarity"?

Contra SuStel's opinion, I don't think it's ungrammatical, but I would say {Hoch tlhIH Savan} only if you specifically want to say "all of you", as opposed to, for instance, {'op tlhIH} "some of you" or {pagh tlhIH} "none of you". I think this falls perfectly well under the umbrella of "added clarity".

And as for how {Hoch tlhIH} would be interpreted, I'm not sure that {Hoch tlhIH} would be interpreted as ??"each youses" any more than {Hoch cha} would be interpreted as ??"each torpedoeses" (although I don't think we have any examples of {Hoch} with an inherently plural noun, so canon is no help there). But {Hoch tlhIH} does seem to require the possibility of {Hoch SoH} "each of you, separately", and I can't decide yet if I'd accept that or not.

However, whichever way you go, I do agree with SuStel that {Hoch tlhIH Savan} is not something you'd usually see in ordinary Klingon speech. {Savan} alone is enough for what you're looking for.

QeS 'utlh
tlhIngan Hol yejHaD pab po'wI' / Grammarian of the Klingon Language Institute

not nItoj Hemey ngo' juppu' ngo' je
(Old roads and old friends will never deceive you)
- Ubykh Hol vIttlhegh

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