tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Thu Jun 04 07:19:53 2009

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RE: chay' "Get out of the way!" ra'lu'?

Steven Boozer (

>>> Actually my objection wasn't to the placement of conjunctions in
>>> general, but the placement/use of {pagh} "or else, either/or"
>>> specifically, which (to me) implies a choice between only two
>>> options:  either/or.  Using it with three options seemed odd...
>>> rather like speakers who misuse "on the other hand".  

>> I see. We shouldn't look at it as a logic problem though. In English we
>> can say, "I could be right, you could be right, or he could be right."
>> That's an exclusive or, but one with three possibilities.
>> I do not believe that /pagh/ or /ghap/ are allowed only two arguments.

>I look at "either" as differentiating it from "and/or", not as a two-
>option limitation.

I now agree with you both.  {pagh} is an exclusive contrast (only one option [of several] is right) while {qoj} is inclusive (one or more of several options may be right).  

I found this three clause example with {qoj} "and/or":

  Qu' buSHa'chugh SuvwI', batlhHa' vangchugh, qoj matlhHa'chugh, 
   pagh ghaH SuvwI''e' 
  If a warrior ignores duty, acts dishonorably, or is disloyal, 
   he is nothing. TKW

I also looked again at the parallel noun conjunctions {ghap} and {joq} and found this comment by Okrand stressing the mutually exclusivity of the options:

  pung ghap HoS 
  Mercy or power TKW [sic!]

TKW 119:  It is noteworthy that the conjunction in the Klingon phrase is {ghap} (either/or), not {joq} (and/or). This implies that one must choose between mercy and power; they are incompatible.

Canon Master of the Klingons

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