tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Wed Dec 02 15:10:42 2009

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Re: Cogito ergo sum (was RE: Numbers with pronouns)

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



Christopher Doty wrote:
> On Wed, Dec 2, 2009 at 13:10, David Trimboli <david@trimboli.name> wrote:
>> We sort of do. KGT has all sorts of "infinitive" phrases in examples;
>> that is, the phrases leave off any indication of person. It is as if
>> they refer to 3rd-person singular arguments. For instance:
>>
>>    ngem Sarghmey tlha'
>>    chase forest sarks
>>
>> It wasn't translated "He/she/it/they chase(s) forest sarks."
> 
> I don't have KGT (yet; it is supposedly in the mail somewhere)... How
> is it translated? What's the context?

These aren't complete sentences; they're not-yet-used examples.

I'm home now, so I can find a good one in KGT:

    Hoch nuH qel ("consider every weapon")

    This is an idiom cloaked in the terminology of the military that has
    a wider application. It is used to mean "Consider every possibility"
    or "Consider every option," with the word {nuH} ("weapon") standing
    metaphorically for "possibility." ({Hoch} means "all, every" and
    {qel} is "consider, take into account.") It is not a set phrase, so
    it is heard in various forms, such as a command ({Hoch nuH
    yIqel!}—literally, "Consider every weapon!" but meaning "Consider
    every possibility!"), question ({Hoch nuH Daqel'a'?} ["Did you
    consider every weapon?"]), or statement ({Hoch nuH wIqelpu'} ["We've
    considered every weapon"]), and it can be negated ({Hoch nuH qelbe'}
    ["He/she does not consider every weapon"]). The regular word for
    "possibility" is {DuH}, and, grammatically, there is no reason it
    could not occur instead of {nuH} in these sentences ({Hoch DuH yIqel}
    ["Consider every possibility!"] is a perfectly well formed sentence),
    but this is simply not the normal way to express the advice. The use
    of {nuH} "weapon" for {DuH} ("possibility") may have been influenced
    by the Krotmag dialect pronunciation of {DuH} as something very close
    to {nuH}...

You can't use these phrases in sentences, but it shows how Okrand (and 
maybe Klingons) think of these phrases without regard to person or mood.

>> It might be possible to view {taH pagh taHbe'} in the same say. Hamlet
>> is thinking "Should I choose {taH} or {taHbe'}?" not "Should I choose to
>> go on or not to go on?" He's thinking about the WORDS.
>>
>> It could also simply be clipped.
> 
> This seems the most reasonable conclusion, probably.  One could argue
> that the English is clipped, a shorter form of something like what you
> give: "Should one be/live or should one not live?"

True, but I believe Hamlet is pondering his OWN reasons for living or 
not living; not abstract ones. It all depends very much on one's reading 
of the text.

-- 
SuStel
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