tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Sat Jun 27 22:40:15 2009

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Re: Klingon translation

Doq (

I really like this post. It is clear, respectful and insightful, and  
more concise than I've been in this discussion. I'll try to do better  
at these same ideals. I will blow less hard.

If English calls "I know who stole the money" a sentence with an  
interrogative content clause, and it calls "I know the man who stole  
the money" a sentence with a relative clause, and the thing called a  
relative clause in Klingon lacks an equivalent of the word "who"  
completely, then how do we know that what Klingon calls a relative  
clause isn't really just an interrogative content clause that replaces  
the interrogative pronoun with a head noun, marking the verb with {- 
bogh} just to let us know it happened?

Klingon relative clauses give one noun grammatical roles in two  
clauses. English interrogative content clauses give one pronoun  
grammatical roles in two clauses. The pronoun {'e'} links two verbs.  
That's why I don't understand how {'e'} can work with an indirect  
question or an interrogative content clause.

Splitting the hair between "I know the man" and "I don't know the man,  
I just know his identity," doesn't answer this for me. "I know the  
carrot my rabbit prefers," doesn't require lengthy conversations with  
the carrot.

What do either of you think of translating "I know who stole the  
money," as {Huch nIHbogh ghaH'e' vISov,}? It's a head pronoun. It  
should do everything "who" does in an interrogative content clause, so  
far as I can tell. Am I missing something?

You certainly wouldn't suggest *{Huch nIHbogh 'Iv'e' vISov,}* would  
you? For me, this is extremely similar to *{Huch nIH 'Iv 'e' vISov.}*  
They confuse me in a similar way.


On Jun 27, 2009, at 9:54 PM, David Trimboli wrote:

> 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
> -- 
> SuStel
> tlhIngan Hol MUSH

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