tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Sun Nov 22 07:42:32 2009

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Re: The topic marker -'e'

Terrence Donnelly ( [KLI Member]

I think your understanding of {-'e'} is fundamentally flawed. We've never seen it used for topic/focus on subjects of verbs. 

Beyond that, this post and the one about pronouns as verbs are examples of a type of post I see all too often (not necessarily here) and that is really starting to annoy me: the extrapolation of grammatical rules into the most esoteric, unlikely conclusions possible, as if to see how far you can push the language before it breaks. 

And such people seldom or never actually produce any Klingon text of any quantity. If they did, they'd discover that Klingon is perfectly able to handle most communication tasks, the sort that make up 95% of communication in the real world.  It's only when you start poking around the edges and positing outlandish scenarios that Klingon seems incomplete.

-- ter'eS

--- On Sat, 11/21/09, Tracy Canfield <> wrote:

> From: Tracy Canfield <>
> Subject: The topic marker -'e'
> To:
> Date: Saturday, November 21, 2009, 11:59 PM
> If the topic is a compound noun
> phrase, do both nouns take the -'e'
> ending?  Or both?  Or neither?  For example,
> if you had a sentence
> like
> taD DeSDu'Daj 'uSDu'Daj je
> and you wanted to emphasize "his arms and legs as opposed
> to anything
> else", or anything else that you usually use -'e' for, is
> the correct
> form
> ? taD DeSDu'Daj'e' 'uSDu'Daj'e' je
> ?? taD DeSDu'Daj 'uSDu'Daj'e' je
> ?? taD DeSDu'Daj'e' 'uSDu'Daj je
> Klingon has lots of constructions that take a syntactic
> ending on the
> second noun, but they're usually things like nouns with
> verbs
> functioning adjectivally, or noun-noun constructions. 
> Which makes the
> second one look odd to me, even though "je" would
> disambiguate it from
> a noun-noun construction.  The third one seems even
> weirder.
> And of course constructions with "to be" in English require
> -'e' on
> the topic, so if you'd like a different sentence to
> contemplate, how
> about
> mIchvamDaq bIHtaH yuQvetlh'e' maSvetlh"e' je
> ?? mIchvamDaq bIHtaH yuQvetlh maSvetlh"e' je
> ?? mIchvamDaq bIHtaH yuQvetlh'e' maSvetlh je
> Aside from that case, in a non-compound clause - that is, a
> clause
> without 'ej "and", qoj "and/or", pagh "either/or", or 'ach
> "but" - can
> more than one noun take the focus marker -'e'?  (It
> seems like if
> there's a rule, it should be at the clause rather than the
> sentence
> level, since there might be one noun with -'e' in the
> subordinate
> clause and one in the main clause.)

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