tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Sat Dec 15 11:21:56 2007

Back to archive top level

To this year's listing

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

Re: jIHtaHbogh naDev vISovbe'

qa'vaj (

On 12/14/07, David Trimboli <> wrote:
I don't agree with some of the steps taken in your analysis.  In the process
of thinking through *why* I don't agree, I've come up with an some
alternative thoughts about QeS utlh's sentence <<jIHtaHbogh naDev
Remember, the topic is not a subject of the prounoun, though the
> copulative is more or less an object of the pronoun.
> But what about sentences like {pa'Daq ghaH HoD'e'}? What's happening
> here? Exactly the same thing. {pa'Daq} is the copulative. It's the
> object of the pronoun. We know that objects can be locatives and the
> like. {yuQDaq vIjaH} "I go to the planet." It's no different with the
> pronoun-as-verb sentence.
>    pa'Daq ghaH HoD'e'
>    The captain is in the room.
>    (As for the captain, he is in the room.)
> I apologize in advance if I am misreading what you are stating, but I
interprete this to mean that by default we should consider <<pa'Daq>> as the
object of the copula, rather than as a locative noun in the header slot.  I
don't agree with that.

In the example sentence:

pa'Daq ghaH HoD'e'

(As we all know), the location of <<pa'Daq>> in the sentence is
syntactically consistent with two possibile roles.  One is that it is a
locative in the header slot, the other is that it is the object of the
copula (using the terms that you have offered).  Either would be
grammatically correct tlhIngan Hol.  However, I think that the meaning
changes depending on which role is considered.

If the intended meaning is "The captain is in his room", then I think
<<pa'Daq>> should be interpreted as a locative in the header slot.

ghaHtaH HoD'e'
"The captain is being"
"As for the captain, he is being"

pa'Daq ghaHtaH HoD'e'
"As for the captain, he is being.  The location where he is being is the

pa'Daq is inteed acting adverbially for the 'action' of the sentence

On the other hand, If the intended meaning is "The captain is the room
location", then <<pa'Daq>> can be viewed as the object of the copula:

pa'Daq ghaHtaH HoD'e'
"The captain is the room location".

I'll admit that the sentence doesn't make much sense symantically.  In a
Star Trekkian universe, who knows, maybe the room has become sentient and
assumed the responsibilities of captain. :)

Alternative examples:

locative in the header slot:

HIvje vIneH
"I need a glass"

nuqDaq 'oH HIvje''e'
"Where is the glass"

     raSDaq 'oH
    "It (the glass) is on(at) the table"

locative as the object of the copula:

Daq DaDelbogh YIngu'
"Identify the location that you are describing"

    raSDaq 'oH
   "It is the location of the table (the location that I am describing)".

Using this approach, things get interesting when we try to make a <<-bogh>>
clause.  What does:

naDev jIHtaHbogh

mean?  If the naDev is serving as the locative in the header slot, then I
think the only possible way to get meaing is:

naDev <unstated> jIHtaHbogh
"The <unstated> thing that I am being, I am being it here"

If the object of the copula:

naDev jIHtaHbogh
"The here that I am being"

I don't think that *either one* works for the intended purpose of saying I'm

naDev <unstated> jIHtaHbogh vISovbe'
"I don't know what the <unstated> thing is that I'm being here"

naDev jIHtaHbogh vISovbe'
"I don't know the here-thing that I am being"

Plain and simply, I think that naDev only makes sense as the head noun of
the relative clause, and that the ording is intended to indicate that naDev
is the head noun.

jIHtaHbogh naDev vISovbe'
"I don't know here (where I am being)"
"I don't know here (that I am being)"
"here (where I am being), I don't know it <something unstated>"

In the last one, the relative clause would be in the header slot rather than
the object of <<vISovbe'>>.  Context/symantics have to be used to know which
is the correct meaning.

Can we use this piece of canon as a template?  I don't know.   Maybe.

jIHtaHbogh DujDaq vI'or ???
"I'm piloting the ship (that I'm in)" ???

Let me restate, just in case I've not been very clear.

If I want to construct a relative clause: "The ship that I'm in".

A case could be made that the expected

DujDaq jIHtaHbogh

Doesn't work.

If DujDaq is in the header slot, then there is an implied, missing, 'head
noun': "In the ship, the <unstated> that I am".  If DujDaq is the object of
the copula, then the symantics are confusing:  "The ship location that I am

We have an indication from canon that maybe we can use:

jIHtaHbogh DujDaq

For the desired relative clause "The ship that I am in".  <<jIHtaHbogh
DujDaq>> is just a relative clause with DujDaq has a head noun, and doesn't
need to be structurally decomposed any further. A necessary special case of
"to-be" construction, possibly.

qo'lIj DachenmoHtaH

Back to archive top level