tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Wed Nov 11 16:01:14 2009

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Re: Yet another newbie!

Terrence Donnelly ( [KLI Member]

--- On Wed, 11/11/09, David Trimboli <> wrote:

> Krenath wrote:
> > If I'm understanding it properly, 'oH and 'oHtaH may
> be analogous to  
> > the verbs "ser" and "estar" in Spanish.
> > 
> > 'oH and ser talk about what something is when that
> aspect is somewhat  
> > permanent.
> > 
> > 'oHtaH and estar talk about what something is
> *currently* when that  
> > aspect is expected to be able to change, such as a
> location
> > 
> > Sound about right?
> I wouldn't go that far. We should probably just take the
> {-taH} 
> literally: {'oHtaH} means something like "it continuously
> is." 
> "Continuous" is not the same as "currently," and it does
> not mean 
> "permanently," although permanent things tend to be
> continuous things.
> Using pronouns as verbs is an area of Klingon where there
> are clearly 
> more subtle things going on than we have been given rules
> for. The best 
> we can expect to reproduce ourselves is a rough emulation.
> A Klingon 
> grammarian would probably pull his hair out from
> frustration (or more 
> likely pull OUR hair out instead).

If I remember my college Spanish, 'ser' applies to states or situations that are inherent to an entity, while 'estar' applies to states or situations that are temporary or acquired. On the face of it, it seems that 'estar' could be similar to pronoun+{-taH}, except that at least one example Voragh gave contradicts this:

pa' 'oHtaH vaS'a''e'.  tlhIngan qum waw' 'oH.
  This is where the Klingon Great Hall is located, the center
   of the Klingon government. S27 

Surely the Great Hall is permanently located there. On the other hand, the uses of simple pronouns don't break easily into permanent/temporary classes either: 

HoD ghaH yaSvam'e'  This officer is the captain (acquired; could be temporary)
targh 'oH  It is a targ (inherent; not likely to be temporary)

In other words, permanence vs impermanence in pronouns-as-copulas doesn't seem to have much in common with the 'ser/estar' breakdown. It really looks like using {-taH} with locations could be just a grammatical necessity (like always using {-taH} with {-vIS}).

-- ter'eS

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