tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Mon Nov 23 08:32:42 2009

Back to archive top level

To this year's listing

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next]

RE: Use of -'e' (was Re: The topic marker -'e')

Steven Boozer (

> 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

> Only the first one is correct.

malja' permey bIH Star Trek pong'e' Deghmey'e' je 
"Star Trek" and related marks are trademarks of Paramount
 Pictures. (Copyright)

... tlhIngan'e', tera'ngan'e', romuluSngan'e' 
[... a Klingon, a Terran, a Romulan] ST5

This repetition of N5 suffixes occurs elsewhere:

tlhIngan juHqo'Daq tlhIng yoSDaq 'oH toQDuj chenmoHlu'meH Daq wa'DIch'e' 
1st Construction Site: The Kling District, Klingon Home World. KBoP

poSDaq nIHDaq je QamtaHvIS SuvwI'pu', chaH jojDaq yItnIS lopwI' 
The initiate must pass through a gauntlet of warriors. S9

tIngvo' 'evDaq chanDaq jIlengpu' 
I've traveled all over the place. (idiom) (st.k 11/21/99)

["A more archaic form of the idiom is {tIngvo' 'evDaq 'evvo' chanDaq} (literally, 'from area-southwestward to area-northwestward, from area-northwestward to area eastward)', but the three-word version (without the repetition of {'ev}) has all but totally replaced it." (st.klingon 11/21/1999)]

But note that the suffix is not repeated in apposition or titles:

qIvo'rIt toQDuj 'oH tlhIngan wo' Duj pagh'e' 
The Imperial Klingon Vessel Pagh is a K'Vort-class Bird-of-Prey. S7

DIvI' 'ejDo' 'entepray'Daq Dajollu' 
Get beamed aboard the USS ["Federaton starship"] Enterprise.

juHqo' Qo'noSvo' loghDaq lengtaHvIS tlhInganpu' 
During the (aggressive) expansion of the Klingon people from their
 homeworld of Kronos into space... SP1

>> Not to open a perhaps stale can of worms, but I didn't think you could
>> use {-e'}, or any other Type 5 noun suffix, on a subject. I know TKD's
>> definition of {-'e'} sort of conflates the notions of topic and focus,
>> but do we have any canon examples of subjects with {-'e'}?

>Tracy provided one yesterday.
>The Klingon Way page 123:
>{reH Hegh yoHwI'pu''e'} "Always it is the brave ones who die."
>TKD also gives the (somewhat erroneous) example {lujpu' jIH'e'} "I
>(and only I) have failed."

Some more:

'ach HoD, Hevetlh wIghoSchugh veH tIn wI'el maH'e'! 
But Captain, that course will take us into the [Great]
 Barrier as well.  ST5

not qoHpu''e' neH ghIjlu' 
Only fools have no fear. TKW

qun qon charghwI'pu''e' 
History is written by the victors. TKW

loghDaq Suvrupbogh SuvwI'pu' chaH Hoch SuvwI'pu''e' 
In space, all warriors are cold warriors ("warriors who
 are ready to fight"). TKW

yIntaHvIS qeylIS'e' lIjlaHbe'bogh vay' batlh 'etlhvam chenmoHlu'pu' 
this sword of honor descends from the time of Kahless the Unforgettable. S8

qorDu'Daj tuq 'oS Ha'quj'e' tuQbogh wo'rIv 
The sash that Worf wears is a symbol of his family's house. S20

nentay loptaHvIS tlhIngan potlh tlhIngan 'oy'naQ'e' 
The Klingon Painstik is an important part of a Klingon's
 Age of Ascension ceremony. S32

qIbDaq SuvwI''e' SoH Dun law' Hoch Dun puS 
You would be the greatest warrior in the galaxy. ST5

[Maybe this one isn't on a subject but it is a prefatory place stamp.]

>This is all before bringing in the many "to be" sentences which *all*
>have {-'e'} on the subject (barring dialectical variations).

For the newcomers:
TKD 68:  There is no verb corresponding to English "to be" in Klingon. On the other hand, all pronouns (section 5.1) can be used as verbs, in the sense of "I am", "you are", etc. ... When there is a definite subject, it follows the pronoun and takes the {-'e'} topic suffix (see section 3.3.5): 
  puqpu' chaH qama'pu''e' 
    The prisoners are children. 
    As for the prisoners, they are children. 
  pa'DajDaq ghaHtaH la''e' 
    The commander is in his quarters. 
    As for the commander, he is in his quarters.

I won't list the dozens of examples except for the following, where {-'e'} not only marks the subject of a pronoun-as-verb sentence - in what charghwI' once called "arbitrary syntax") - but also disambiguates the topic noun of the relative clause {jeqbogh} (cf. {jeq} "protrude from"):

tajwIj 'oHbe' chorlIj jeqbogh Dochvetlh'e' 
That is not my dagger protruding from your midsection. FTG

Canon Master of the Klingons

Back to archive top level