tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Sat Sep 26 10:02:11 2009

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Possesives and cardinal numbers

David Trimboli (david@trimboli.name) [KLI Member] [Hol po'wI']



Brent Kesler wrote:

> I was about to suggest {wa' jaghwI' vIlegh}, but I didn't know whether
> this means "I see my one enemy", "I see one of my enemies", or both.
> English can use both numbers and possessive pronouns as determiners,
> but numbers also can be just numbers (ie, they don't have to function
> as determiners): you can say "I see my two enemies" (number as 'mere'
> number), "I see two enemies" (number as determiner), "I see two of my
> enemies" (number as determiner(ish?)) but not "*I see two my enemies"
> (two determiners in a row). That's also why I had to say "That enemy
> of mine" and not "*that my enemy" or "*my that enemy".
> 
> But in Klingon, numbers are words, while possessives and
> demonstratives are suffixes. Syntax doesn't stop us from using them
> together, but maybe semantics does.

The possessive suffixes aren't clitics—so far as we've ever seen—so I 
doubt {wa' jaghwI' vIlegh} would mean "I see my one enemy." {wa'} counts 
how many {jaghwI'} you have; {-wI'} doesn't say whose {wa' jagh} it is.

> BTW: what do people think of {jaghma' wa'} for "Public Enemy #1"?

I would prefer {nugh jagh wa'} or something like that.

-- 
SuStel
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