tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Fri Dec 14 16:52:59 2007

Back to archive top level

To this year's listing

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next]

Re: jIHtaHbogh naDev vISovbe'

QeS 'utlh (

ghItlhpu' SuStel, ja':
>I believe this sentence works according to the rules, albeit somewhat

You've outlined a good argument here, so I won't requote it in detail
(otherwise I'll be here all week!). I just have a problem with using
{SoH 'Iv} as evidence for an anomalous word order here.

I see no problem with {SoH 'Iv} for the same reason as I see no
problem with {yIH nuq} "what is a tribble?". Okrand provided that
example in a post to the MSN newsgroup that "[q]uestion words (in this
case, nuq "what?") function the same way pronouns do in questions
with "to be" in the English translations" (MSN posting 12-12-1996). In this
case, the way I interpret it is that it isn't {SoH} that is acting as the
pronoun; it's {'Iv}.

Going back to the original thought, I've since had the idea that maybe
{naDev} could be shifted as an intentional ungrammaticality in order to
emphasise {naDev} ("I don't know HERE, I don't know THIS place where
I am"). Since we have an example of an adverbial shifted to post-object
position, also maybe for emphasis ({'e' reH lunIDtaH} "they always keep
trying that" from S26, where an emphatic reading is also supported by
the illegal {-taH} on a verb following {'e'}), perhaps such shifting
sometimes happens for time and location stamps as well - which, for all
intents and purposes, function essentially as adverbs do anyway.

That's just an alternative analysis, and it might not be right; your
explanation works just as well. Further, yours might explain why {-'e'}
must, in {ta' Hol} at least, appear on the subject of a copulative
construction when there's an explicit subject present. If there were
some hitherto undescribed rule whereby the "copulative noun" (to use
your terminology) *was* able to appear sentence-finally, then it would
be necessary to use {-'e'} on the subject in order to keep it
grammatically separate from the copulative. Otherwise ??{ghaHtaH
HoD pa'Daq} could mean either "the captain is in the room" or "he is
in the captain's room". ??{ghaHtaH HoD'e' pa'Daq} (= {pa'Daq
ghaHtaH HoD'e'}) clears the ambiguity nicely, because you can't have
a type 5 suffix on the first noun of a noun-noun construction.

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

It's simple! Sell your car for just $30 at

Back to archive top level