tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Mon Nov 23 15:36:47 2009

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Re: The topic marker -'e'

Steven Lytle (

"Robots we kill" (with fronting of the object for emphasis) can be
translated as {qoq(mey)'e' DIHoH (maH)}.
{qoqpu'} may also be valid as a plural of {qoq}, but since robots aren't *
inherently* able to speak, I prefer {-mey}.
lay'tel SIvten

On Mon, Nov 23, 2009 at 2:19 PM, ghunchu'wI' 'utlh <>wrote:

> On Mon, Nov 23, 2009 at 1:24 PM, Christopher Doty <>
> wrote:
> > As I said in my last email, the truly analogous case would be "Robots we
> kill."
> Except that it's not really all that analogous. I think the flavor of
> an extremely liberal interpretation of {mapum Sor} would be well
> expressed by "we trees fall."  Using your example words, the analogous
> English sentence would be "we robots kill."
> Does that help you understand the discussion better?
> (My favorite rendition of "we trees fall" is actually {mapum, Sor
> maH}, but that's beside the point.)
> >  I'm not sure why you've taken issue with my use
> > of robots versus trees in English as indicating something about
> > vocabulary...  My English vocabulary?
> I'm not sure which vocabulary is at issue here, but it seems that
> something got mangled in your translation from English to English:
> > ma-HoH Sor
> > 3plS-kill tree
> >
> > could mean "We trees kill."  We could translate this into English as
> > "We kill robots," which mean that we are robots and kill things.
> Trying to translate "We trees kill" into "We kill robots" with the
> intent of meaning "we are robots and kill things" doesn't work on
> *any* level.
> As for typos, the "3plS" wasn't recognizable as anything obvious. Your
> explanation helped, except that you kept the "third person" idea,
> which implied that you were confused about either {ma-} or "we" or
> what "third person" means. Even if you weren't yourself confused,
> you've been confusing some of us with the inconsistency.
> > The concept of "ungrammatical" means that it is not valid.
> It means it is not valid *grammar*, obviously. It does not
> automatically mean it lacks a valid meaning. You're getting into
> trouble by applying *your* concept of the word, rather than reading
> how it is used in books describing the Klingon language.
> > Terminology again.
> I will repeat my preference to use terminology as presented in The
> Klingon Dictionary and Klingon for the Galactic Traveler. They are,
> after all, the primary sources for our understanding of the language.
> For example, the pseudo-suffixes {-la'} and {-luH} are nongrammatical
> by definition. This doesn't mean they are without meaning.
> -- ghunchu'wI'

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