tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Mon May 18 07:01:02 2009

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Re: Klingon Ad for my new novel!

QeS 'utlh (

qaStaHvIS poH nI' pagh vIjatlhpu', Qu'mey law' vIghajtaHmo'. 'ach
mubuSmoHpu' qaSqa'bogh tetlh ja'chuqqa'ghach chu', vaj jIjeSqa' jIH.
Savanqa'! 'ej bI'reng: SoH qavan je; qaSovbe'pu'. jumuvta'mo' jIbel.

ghItlhpu' bI'reng, ja':
>Personally, I've never minded N to the nth constructions. It only gets
>difficult to parse when you nouns that are also verbs and verbs that
>are also adjectivials.

qay' latlh: DIp lurarlu'meH rarbogh mu' lo'lu'chugh, {D-D} {D},
{D} {D-D}, {D} {D} {D} ghap 'oSlaHqu' mu'tlheghHom'e' chenmoHbogh
tlhegh {DIp-DIp-DIp}. tInchoHchugh DIp mu'tlheghHom, qay'qu'choH je:
"Duras's child and the emperor", "Duras and the child-emperor", "Duras,
the child and the emperor" 'oSlaH . (jISIm:  DIpmey
'abchugh DIp-DIp mu'tlheghHom, chenlaHbogh DIp'e' *tlhegh-DIpmey'e' je,
(T-1)-logh cha' boq'eghpu'bogh cha' 'oH mI''e'.)

S26 mu'tlhegh'e', chaq lugh je qech qelta'bogh SuStel: chaq tlhIngan
jatlhwI'vaD wa' mu''a' luDa <> <> je. vaj pab qellu'chugh, vagh DIpmey
tu'lu', 'ach jatlhlu'taHvIS, chaq wej neH tu'lu' net yaj. vaj {D-D-D-D}
latlh DIp mu'tlheghmey tIn je vIjun je jIH, 'ach maQochlaw' Lawrence
jIH je {D-D-D} vIparbe'mo', 'ej rut lo'laH je DIp mu'tlheghHommey
tInqu' 'e' cha' S26.
My biggest problem with them is that a string {N-N-N} with a
conjunction can feasibly be {N-N} {N}, {N} {N-N} or {N} {N} {N}, and
this gets geometrically worse as the length of the noun string
increases: {DuraS puq voDleH je} could be "Duras's child and the
emperor", "Duras and the child-emperor" (using apposition), or even
"Duras, the child and the emperor". (FWIW, if I've calculated right,
for a noun-noun construction of size T, the number
of possible noun phrase combinations is equal to 2^(T-1): so the
string {N N N N N N} has 32 possible combinations of noun phrases.)

In the S26 example, I imagine SuStel's point about {tlhIngan Hol} might
equally apply: {DuraS tuq} "the House of Duras" and {tlhIngan yejquv}
"the Klingon High Council" are semantically both pretty tightly knit
units, so even if it's grammatically a five-noun construction,
pragmatically it may really only be seen as three. That's the reason
why I tend to steer away from noun-noun constructions of longer than
three elements, though unlike Lawrence I don't find N-N-N overly
clunky or cumbersome, and as S26 shows, there are instances where even
longer strings of nouns can be reasonable in practice.


QeS 'utlh

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