tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Thu Nov 26 10:57:18 2009

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Re: Adverb placement (was Re: The topic marker -'e')

David Trimboli ( [KLI Member] [Hol po'wI']

Christopher Doty wrote:
> On Thu, Nov 26, 2009 at 05:30, David Trimboli <> wrote:
>> Yes. This is a sentence-as-object construction. The {DaH} applies to
>> {'e' vIHech} ("I intend that now"), not to {jIQongchoH} (I didn't mean
>> "I begin to sleep now").
>> The first sentence in an SAO is not really "embedded." Sentence one is
>> not "physically" the object of sentence two. The two sentences are
>> merely juxtaposed, and the pronoun {'e'} refers to sentence one and
>> takes its place as the object of sentence two.
>> However, it's important to note that Okrand has never used an adverbial
>> along with {'e'} or {net}, so we have no examples of this sort of thing
>> in action. This simply follows the basic rules in TKD. There is only one
>> example of an adverbial with a SAO in all the canon:
>>    reH DIvI' Duj vISuv vIneH
>>    I've always wanted to fight a Federation ship. (ST5)
>> Naturally, Captain Klaa didn't mean that he wanted to "always fight" a
>> Federation ship. However, SAOs with {neH} don't (usually) use {'e'} or
>> {net}, so it's possible that with these the first sentence is, in fact,
>> "embedded" in the second as its object. Without further evidence, we
>> can't really tell.
> But Okrand tells us: "When the verb of the second sentence is <neH>
> want, neither <'e'> nor <net> is used, but *the construction is
> otherwise identical* to that just described." (emphasis mine)
> I see
>>    reH DIvI' Duj vISuv vIneH
>>    I've always wanted to fight a Federation ship. (ST5)
> As
> [reH [[DIvI' Duj vISuv] vIneH]]
> <reh> modifies the entire thing, not just the object sentence.

Right. Except I would explain it this way:

    reH [DIvI' Duj vISuv] vIneH

Even then, it's not literally doing what TKD says. TKD explains that 
it's two sentences next to each other, not one sentence inside another. 
Hanging too closely on "otherwise identical" is not the right thing to 
do. He clearly was not considering adverbials in such sentences.

Remember, TKD is not a complete grammar, just a sketch of the basics, so 
we have to have to make allowances for exceptions that aren't mentioned. 
Even Okrand warns us about this at the very start of TKD:

    It should be remembered that even though the rules say "always" and
    "never," when Klingon is actually spoken these rules are sometimes
    broken. What the rules represent, in other words, is what Klingon
    grammarians agree on as the "best" Klingon.

So our goal is not to apply each rule and example as if it were holy 
writ, but to sift through the rules and examples until we feel confident 
about how something works.

> Likewise, since these are identical except the use of 'e',
> [DaH [[jIQongchoH] ['e' vIHech]]
> "Now I intend to sleep"
> Since we see that an adverbial initially modifies not just the
> sentence which is the object, the whole clause that follows.

But the appearance of the pronoun makes the construction very different 

    [jIQongchoH] [DaH 'e' vIHech]

These are two completely distinct sentences. The only thing that relates 
them is the pronoun {'e'}, which simply *refers* to the previous sentence.

Now, if you want to argue this on the basis of

    DaH [ [jIQongchoH] ['e' vIHech] ]

that is, claiming that the two sentences {jIQongchoH} and {'e' vIHech} 
form a single sentence, to which {DaH} may be added as an adverbial, I 
won't argue it with you, though I don't believe this to be the case.

As another illustration, it would be perfectly reasonable to punctuate 
my sentence thusly:

    jIQongchoH. DaH 'e' vIHech.

> The real issue, then, is how you would say "I want to be
> always fighting Federation starships".....

That would be identical to "I always want to fight Federation 
starships." {reH DIvI' Duj vISuv vIneH} is, so far as we know, ambiguous.

Again, Okrand has never used an adverbial in the same sentence as {'e'} 
or {net}, so it's hard to be sure how this works. Seeing it with {neH} 
is just not enough data to conclude anything with confidence.

tlhIngan Hol MUSH

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