tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Tue May 26 14:02:54 2009

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Re: nuq bach?

Brent Kesler ( [KLI Member]

On Tue, May 26, 2009 at 9:26 AM, Steven Boozer <> wrote:
> One quibble... {'IvDaq bachchu' yaS} feels odd/hyper-correct, a bit like "(At) Whom did the officer
> shoot" does in 21st century American English.  Grammatically correct, yet stilted.

Coming from the Midwest, I'm fine with this construction. "Who'd the
officer shoot at?" (Say it with a slight twang).

>  nuqDaq bachchu' yaS?
>  "Where did the officer shoot?"
>  (i.e. where did the shooting occur?)

I think this sentence is ambiguous. It can mean "Where did the
shooting occur?" or "What did the officer shoot at?" It depends on
whether Klingons treat {nuqDaq} as meaning only a question word for
locations or as a composition of {nuq} + {Daq}. And {-Daq} itself is
ambiguous; it can motion towards a location or an action at a
location. It's a distinction English makes better than Klingon.

>  nuq bachchu' yaS?
>  What did the officer shoot?
>  (i.e. what did the officer shoot at?)

If I heard this question, I'd probably answer something like {nISwI'}.
So if {nuq} can also mean "what target" in this case, we have another
ambiguous sentence.

It looks like if one sentence is decidable, the other must be
ambiguous. Languages do this sometimes [shrugs].


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