tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Mon Nov 30 18:53:44 2009

Back to archive top level

To this year's listing

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

Re: Numbers with pronouns

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

Christopher Doty wrote:
> On Mon, Nov 30, 2009 at 18:22, David Trimboli <> wrote:
>> I can't say it's wrong, but it doesn't look right, either. I think it
>> would be roughly equivalent to saying "Two thems see me" in English.
> Hrm, okay... Any ideas on how you would say this? Since numbers modify
> nouns by preceding them, I just figured likewise here.  Some languages
> have special syntax for this (like English), but others don't...

I don't think you'd specify two of a group; you'd just specify two. This 
happens in Star Trek III:

    wa' yIHoH!
    Kill one of them.
    "kill one"

Context tells you that it's just one of a group.

So the following would be how I would do it:

    meH vI'el. pa' wej yaS tu'lu'. mulegh cha'.
    I entered the bridge. There were three officers there. Two (of them)
    saw me.

>>  > And what if one is using the pronoun as a verb instead of a noun?
>>  > E.g.,
>>> <nItebHa' cha' maHvIS...>
>>> "While we two are together..."
>>> Does that seem okay?
>> {-vIS} always requires {-taH}.
>> This seems a little more plausible, but I would still avoid it in
>> general use, simply because it's weird.
> Wait, what's weird here?  The <cha'>?  And I forgot about <-vIS>
> always requiring <-taH>, and I was only worried about the <cha'> for
> purposes of meter, so this can just become <nItebHa' maHtaHvIS...> and
> nevermind the cha' business :)

Nothing is "wrong" here; it's just weird to me. I've got more than 
fifteen years of experience with Klingon, so sometimes things just 
strike me as wrong without them clearly being so. Doing strange things 
with pronouns-as-verbs tends to provoke this reaction in me.

> Although I would like to know how to say such a thing....

It would depend, again, on context and on your emphasis. {matay'} means 
"we are together"; I would probably start there.

One of the devices that Okrand has used occasionally is to simply shove 
related words or sentences together to imply that they are combined. 
There are no rules for this, but it could be used in this case. Let's 
say I wanted to talk about how great it is to be united as Klingons:

    tlhIngan maH; matay'!

This might be interpreted as "We are Klingons together" or "We are 
united as Klingons." If you go the extra step and accept *{cha' maH} as 
"we are two," then you've got your phrase; substitute {cha'} for {tlhIngan}.

tlhIngan Hol MUSH

Back to archive top level