tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Wed Dec 19 10:46:17 2007

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Re: jIHtaHbogh naDev vISovbe'

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



qa'vaj wrote:

> pa'DajDaq ghaH HoD'e'
> 
> Is there a semantic difference that you can elaborate between viewing
> pa'DajDaq as the predicative as opposed to a header?
> 
> When viewed as a header, an elaborative translation would be:
> 
> "The captain is being.  In the room is where the captain is being"
> 
> Can you state a corresponding elaborative translation for the interpretation
> as a predicative?
> (more elaboration than "The captain's being is in the room" or "The captain
> is being in the room").  I'm having trouble zeroing-in on a crisp semantic
> distinction.

There isn't much semantic difference, but there IS a reason to make the 
distinction. If {pa'DajDaq} isn't the predicative, but a locative, then 
there is no predicative. The sentence would be *{pa'DajDaq, ghaH 
HoD'e'}. But *{ghaH HoD'e'} isn't a valid sentence so far as we know. 
And why isn't it *{pa'Daq, HoD ghaH}? Why not *{HoD'e', pa'Daq, ghaH}?

You COULD come up with some grammatical description that arbitrarily 
decides that when there's a header in front of the copula there can't be 
a predicative, but I think my description is simpler, less arbitrary, 
and explains all canonical instances (except the word order of our title 
sentence).

I have felt for a long time that we are in desperate need of a 
grammatical description of Klingon that is tailored to Klingon, rather 
than one lifted from English or some other language. Using a foreign 
grammar to explain a language leads to rules like not being able to 
split an infinitive in English: since Latin can't split an infinitive, 
it OBVIOUSLY must be wrong to do it in English! We constantly throw 
around inappropriate terms, like "indirect object," when what we really 
need is a grammar that actually describes what happens in the language. 
This is what I've tried to do for the Klingon copula. It's just a 
description; it adds no new abilities to the construction. The general 
description is:

    [time stamp] [headers] <predicative> <pronoun> [topic]'e'

SuStel
Stardate 7966.5

-- 
Practice the Klingon language on the tlhIngan Hol MUSH.
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