tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Thu Dec 13 14:41:53 2007

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Re: jIHtaHbogh naDev vISovbe'

Steven Boozer (

> >>   jIHtaHbogh naDev vISovbe'
> >>   I'm lost. TKD [p.172]
> >>
> >>SKI: QeS 'utlh is puzzled about the TKD sentence {jIHtaHbogh naDev
> >>vISovbe'}. No matter which clause {naDev} is parsed into, it seems to
> >>be illegal, unless it's further evidence for headless relative clauses.

> >A few years ago qoror suggested analyzing this puzzling sentence as:
> >
> >   "I don't know the area around here that I'm at."
> >
> >This (colloquial?) expression seems to work because {-taH} on a pronoun
> >implies location to a Klingon speaker, especially when accompanied by a
> >noun with the locative suffix {-Daq}.  But {naDev} is an exception  [...]
> >
> >For the beginners, the other "headless relative" QeS is referring to is:
> >
> >   Dajatlhbogh vIyajlaHbe'
> >   I find no match for what you just said. (KCD .wav file)

>The explanation I'm most fond of is that it's an idiom, like mIv je
>DaS, and not subject to analysis.

It just struck me that headless relative clauses feel as jarring (to us at 
least) as English sentences ending in a preposition.  In this way, qoror's 
suggested translation is very good.  They're both stylistically marked, if 
not out-and-out ungrammatical - at least from the formal prescriptivist 
viewpoint, making them both examples of colloquial {pabHa'} or misfollowing 
the rules of grammar.

Qov's response reminded me of her idea of {lutu'lu'} as the Klingon version 
of "whom" which, in ghunchu'wI's words, "got a nod and an explicit lack of 
contradiction" from Okrand at qep'a' loSDIch when he was asked about:

   naDev tlhInganpu' tu'lu'
   There are Klingons around here. TKD

Okrand later incorporated her idea into KGT:

   Except in formal situations, however, the omission of {lu-} in such
   cases is overlooked. Though technically an error, and jarring to
   many Klingons' ears, it causes no confusion as to the intended
   meaning of the sentence. It is important to note that this does not
   mean that the use of {lu-} is optional; it is left off only under
   specific conditions.  [KGT 172]

We can only hope that Okrand will at some point explain - or explain away! 
- his use of headless relatives in these two cases.

Ca'Non Master of the Klingons

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