tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Wed Dec 02 13:03:02 2009

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Re: Numbers with pronouns

David Trimboli ( [KLI Member] [Hol po'wI']

Mark J. Reed wrote:
> On Wed, Dec 2, 2009 at 1:04 PM, David Trimboli <> wrote:
>  For all that pronouns equal "to be" in English, they're still just
>> pronouns. They can be used in some verb-like ways, but they're still
>> pronouns (or, according to Klingon grammarians, {chuvmey}). Saying
>> {tlhIngan jIH} is the same as saying "me Klingon."
> I agree with your larger point, but I'm going to nitpick this
> particular analogy for one reason: verbal suffixes.  If those suffixes
> were unbound morphemes, sticking them into a sentence without a verb
> would be unremakable; but they normally bind only with verbs, yet here
> they are binding with leftovers.  That implies to me that the pronoun
> is rather more verblike than the one in the English "me Klingon";
> after all, to say that you had been a Klingon previously (perhaps in a
> play or movie), you wouldn't say "Me'ed Klingon".

Yes, if you put suffixes on the pronoun, it's more verb-like than its 
English counterpart. But I didn't say that {tlhIngan jIH} was 
grammatically identical to "me Klingon"; I just said that saying one is 
the same as saying the other. The overall EFFECT is the same.

Everyone has already jumped all over me saying "YOU SAID PRONOUNS AREN'T 
VERBS! SACRILEGE!" They're NOT verbs; they're pronouns. But in Klingon, 
(most) pronouns can perform some of the functions that verbs do, while 
still remaining pronouns.

Klingon pronouns are halfway between nouns and verbs. They have features 
of both, but are neither. When I say {tlhIngan jIH}, I'm saying "me 
Klingon." When I say {tlhIngan jIHtaH}, I'm saying "me Klingon, 
continuous." If I say {DujDaq jIHtaH}, I'm saying "me, on the ship, 
continuous." The effect is a Klingon pounding his chest and saying "Me," 
or pointing at a ship and saying "Me there!"

And regarding Christopher's demanding to know (once again) where Okrand 
said this: he didn't. I'm not repeating anything Okrand said; I am 
proposing a grammatical model and description based on available 
evidence. Accept it or not; I don't care. I haven't heard the old {jIQub 
vaj jIH} for a few years now; it's not something that's terribly 
important. It's just an amusement. Klingon handles "to be" the way 
Tarzan does, and that's funny.

tlhIngan Hol MUSH

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