tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Mon Nov 23 10:42:55 2009

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Re: The topic marker -'e'

Christopher Doty (

> Your linguistic knowledge is leading you astray in this case. You're
> bringing in concepts from outside Klingon grammar, based on a use of
> terms in TKD that are intended for people who don't already "know"
> what they mean. This is a recipe for much confusion. Klingon and Zen
> don't seem like a good match, but try to let go of the baggage you're
> attaching to words like "subject" and "perfective". Just pretend they
> don't have meaning outside what TKD describes, and I think you'll have
> a much easier time with things.

This is a joke, right?  You realize that Okrand has a PhD in
linguistics, I hope.  As a linguist reading TKD, it is VERY clear what
Okrand means when he uses these terms, and in what he is trying to
describe: he is using common linguistic concepts (from outside Klingon
grammar) to describe Klingon grammar.

> Actually, he decided that {Sor} was a subject because it followed the
> verb. That's where subjects go in a Klingon sentence. He treated it as
> first-person plural because the verb prefix says that's what the
> subject is. There are no examples in the Klingon canon of such
> sentences, but it is a defensible interpretation. True, it is not a
> widely accepted interpretation, but it has a sound basis.
> I hope that helps you understand where the reason for his decision
> {wIvna'} differs significantly from your "decision" {wIvqoq}.

Which is why I said, in a follow-up email, that I made a mistake and
the correct English equivalent would actually be "Robots we kill."

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