tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Sat Jun 27 18:56:58 2009

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Re: Klingon translation

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

ghunchu'wI' wrote:

> This isn't an easy subject for me to discuss clearly, because I don't  
> have serious training in linguistics.  I agree completely with the  
> prohibition on using actual questions as objects, and I agree  
> completely with the statement that relative clauses in Klingon use {- 
> bogh} and not relative pronouns that happen to look like question  
> words.  What I'm trying to do here is find a good way to get across  
> the idea that the use of "who" in things like "I know who stole the  
> money" fits a third class of sentences, and that such sentences do  
> not have an obvious way to translate them into Klingon without adding  
> ideas that are not explicit in the English.

The "who" in "I know who stole the money" is an interrogative pronoun. 
The "who stole the money" is an "interrogative content clause": a clause 
that *corresponds* with an interrogative sentence ("Who stole the money?").

People who build question-as-object sentences are trying to use 
interrogative content clauses as complete sentences (the first sentence 
of the two-sentence construct). But Klingon doesn't have interrogative 
content clauses, so they just use the corresponding question.


The other kind of "who" is a relative pronoun, as in "I know the person 
who stole the money." In these cases, the pronoun stands in for the 
replaced noun in the relative clause.

Main clause:
	"I know the person"

Relative clause:
	"the person stole the money"

Replace "the person" in the relative clause with "who":
	"who stole the money" (this is the interrogative content clause)

Full sentence:
	"(I know the person) [who stole the money]"

(This, by the way, is how you know whether to use "who" or "whom" in a 
relative clause: are you replacing the subject or the object of the 
relative clause? Relative pronouns are part of the relative clause, not 
the main clause.)

Instead of relative pronouns, Klingon uses {-bogh}.

Main clause:
	ghot vISov

Relative clause:
	Huch nIHbogh ghot

No pronoun replacement; full sentence:
	(Huch nIHbogh [ghot) vISov]

Optional head noun marker:
	Huch nIHbogh ghot'e' vISov

tlhIngan Hol MUSH

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