tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Fri Dec 14 10:26:26 2007

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Re: jIHtaHbogh naDev vISovbe'

David Trimboli (david@trimboli.name) [KLI Member] [Hol po'wI']



doq@embarqmail.com wrote:

> I could have more easily understood {jIHtaHbogh naDev'e' vISovbe'} or
> {naDev jIHtaHbogh vISovbe'}, and I would have, myself, been more
> likely to come up with something like {Daqvam vIghovbe'} or
> {pu'jInDaq DaqwIj vISamlaHbe'} or even {naDev vIghovbe'}.

nuq 'oH pu'jIn'e'?

The trick of putting the topic marker on the head noun of a relative 
clause hadn't been invented when Okrand was writing The Klingon 
Dictionary, so {jIHtaHbogh naDev'e' vISovbe'} wouldn't have appeared. 
Okrand translates "I'm lost" on Conversational Klingon as {DaqwIj 
vISovbe'}. So the phrase in TKD isn't the only correct way to say this.

> Hmmm. One special thing going on here is that {naDev} and
> {jIHtaHbogh} are redundant, because {naDev} simply refers to the
> place {jIHtaH}. I mean, wherever you are is {naDev}, right?

{jIHtaH} doesn't inherently contain any concept of location. It means 'I 
am continuously," "I do my existing continuously," and, if my analysis 
is correct, it would never appear without what I called the copulative. 
The copulative will always add its own meaning to the idea of being. 
{jIH} by itself, with or without suffixes, is mostly devoid of meaning.

Perhaps one could use {jIH} as a sentence all by itself, but that 
sentence can only ever say one thing: "I am." For instance, {jIQub; vaj 
jIH} "I think, therefore I am."

> You refer to {naDev} as a noun acting adverbially. This is not the
> only example of Okrand putting an adverb between the direct object
> and the verb, is it? I've got a foggy memory about this, but I don't
> have any materials with me right now. I think he does it in Sentence
> As Object constructions. Perhaps he does that to stop the adverb from
> sounding like it has an {-'e'} suffix on it.

Most nouns that are not subject or object act adverbially in Klingon. 
{pa'DajDaq QongtaH} "He is sleeping in his room." {pa'DajDaq} is a noun 
that is acting adverbially; it's telling us a manner in which {QongtaH} 
was done. Most nouns with {-'e'} probably *aren't* adverbial in nature.

> Add that {naDev} is one of those nouns that basically has an
> invisible {-Daq} on it. Since it ALWAYS has a sense of {-Daq}, you
> don't need the actual suffix.

Irrelevant. The presence of a type 5 suffix doesn't mean the noun can't 
be a subject or object. We've never seen a subject with {-Daq}, {-vo'}, 
or {-vaD} on it, but there's no rule that prohibits it either. It's just 
not a very useful construction. But we *have* seen nouns with {-Daq} as 
the object of a verb. Having {naDev} instead of a noun with {-Daq} makes 
no difference. And I daresay that few people have trouble accepting the 
idea of putting {naDev} in the subject position if context calls for it.

> Anyway, if {naDev} already has a null variation on {-Daq}, then the
> Type 5 suffix is already full, so he couldn't put {-'e'} on it. So,
> the noun {naDev} would never be able to take any Type 5 suffix.

He had no reason to. At the time the sentence was written, {-'e'} on 
relative clause head nouns hadn't been invented yet.

> Oh, and the only other thing that I see that you didn't address is
> the oddness of putting the topic at the end of a sentence with the
> copulative pronoun. It is strange when compared to any other sentence
> form, but it is consistent in all "to be" sentences. It could have
> just as easily been done as {Qanqor'e' tlhIngan ghaH}, rather than
> {tlhIngan ghaH Qanqor'e'}. In fact, you are probably right. Both
> versions of the sentence mean the same thing. One is just a
> fossilized word arrangement for that type of sentence.

I don't have to address it. "To be" sentences explicitly don't follow 
the rules for the standard sentence. They follow the syntax I have outlined:

    [headers] [ <copulative> <pronoun>[suffixes] [topic] ]

SuStel
Stardate 7952.8


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