tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Sun Dec 23 16:49:27 2007

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Re: "to-be" + <<-bogh>>

qa'vaj (

On Dec 23, 2007 10:56 AM, Alan Anderson <> wrote:

> ja' qa'vaj:
> > ...
> > chom ghaHbogh.
> >
> > There are three possibilities.
> >
> > 1.a) The same ambiguity of A) applies.  This could either mean "The
> > bartender, who he/she is" or "He/she, who is the bartender".
> > ...
> It looks to me like your post is based on a flawed understanding of {-
> bogh} relative clauses in Klingon.  You consistently give English
> translations as "nonessential" phrases, which can be deleted from the
> sentence without losing the meaning.  But I'm pretty sure every
> example of Klingon relative clauses makes them "essential", where the
> clause serves to restrict a nonspecific noun to a particular group or
> individual.

I apologize for not being clear.  I understand the difference (but I didn't
know that Klingon examples only have the restrictive type).  My English
translations are only for the purpose of showing the ambiguity in the head
noun.  The ambiguity is in which noun (or pronoun) is the head noun.  I
wasn't even thinking about restrictive or non-restrictive relative clauses.
The head (pro)noun will still be ambiguous, whether the relative clauses are
restrictive or not.

> With this in mind, {chom ghaHbogh} would be translated as "He who is
> [a/the] bartender," which is exactly the same meaning as simply
> {chom} "bartender.

But this is focusing on the particular example, rather then the principle.
We could also say that  <<jIHtaHbogh naDev>> means the same thing as simply
<<naDev>>.  I just made up an example <<chom ghaHbogh>>.

Note that you translated as: "**He** who is [a/the] bartender".  This
contradicts the canon <<jIHtaHbogh naDev>> which only works in the canon
sentence as "**Here** where I am".  The canon sentence doesn't work  if  you
translate as "**I** who am here."  See? There is an ambiguity issue.

The whole point is the ambiguity between which item -  "bartender" or
"he/she"  - is the entity intended as the head (pro)noun.  The reason that I
switched to using <<ghaH>> instead of continuing with <<jIH>> is to avoid
having the verb prefix incidentally disambiguate the head noun.

> ja' Doq:
> > I see {ghaHbogh} as marginally meaningful, requiring really special
> > context that is so rare as to verge on poetry. I don't see prose
> > having much use for it in an average day.
> I agree completely.  The only use of a similar construction I can
> remember seeing "in the wild" was sort of a fad a great many years
> ago.  People were applying a formulaic translation to an English
> phrase like "the restaurant in the city" to get {vengDaq 'oHbogh
> Qe''e'}.  I thought it was unnecessarily Klinglish then, and I still
> think so now.

My thinking is all prompted by <<jIHtaHbogh naDev vISovbe'>>, which is
canon.  I don't have another specific sentence in mind, I only want to
understand the options and principles.  I'm not prepared to assert the
profound prescience that "to-be"+<<-bogh>> will only have obscure or unwise
usage.  You can certainly disagree.

> ja'qa' qa'vaj:
> > qaQochba' QIn ngeHpu'wI' jIHbogh jIH'e'.
> chatlhvam vIpojlaH 'e' vInID.  vIpojlaHbe'.
> Knowing what you tried to explain at first lets me tease out
> something like a meaning:  "Only *I*, the message senders who I am,
> obviously disagree you."  The errors are trivial, but they are too
> distracting for me to concentrate on the part you're apparently
> trying to use as an example.
> I can render the sentence as {jIQoch QIn vIngeHbogh jIH} "I who send
> the message disagree."  But what other "I" is there?  I think a
> relative clause using a pronoun as a "to be" verb is superfluous to
> the point of causing confusion.
"*I* who am the message sender obviously disagree with you."

I used one of the possible options that I outlined.  Another would be:

qaQochba' QIn ngeHpu'wI' jIHbogh.

I forgot to add the winky after it ;)

(BTW- You apparently see some mistakes, but didn't point them out.  I don't
see anything obvious, other than maybe using <<-wI'>> on a verb suffixed
with <<-pu'>>. )

qo'lIj DachenmoHtaH

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