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  5. "Your face is handsome."

"Your face is handsome."

Translation:'IH qablIj.

June 11, 2018



Someone will find my question worthy of response: 'IH qablIj, and 'IH qablIj'e' , are both acceptable answers to this question. So what is the exact function of the 'e', in the 2nd option (please don't use the word, "topic")?

And yes, I am getting a copy of The Klingon Dictionary.


In such a case, it serves as an emphasizer. "YOUR FACE (as opposed to something else) is beautiful."

I like to teach that the -'e' suffix has four distinct (though related and slightly overlapping) grammatical functions.
1) To emphasize a noun in place (an object where the object belongs or a subject where the subject belongs - this is well described in The Klingon Dictionary).
2) To indicate an explicit subject in a "pronoun as to be" construction (in which case it always follows the "pronoun as to be" - this is well described in TKD).
3) To mark a topic separate from any explicit subject or object (in TKD Dr. Okrand calls it a topic marker, but he describes it more like a focus marker and has agreed when asked if it was really a focus marker and not a topic marker - however, he has used it like a topic marker in a couple sentences and such usage should occur before the OVS part of the sentence).
4) To explicitly mark the head noun of a -bogh phrase (which goes on such noun in place, but doesn't so much emphasize it, but rather makes it the noun that the phrase describes - this usage is not described in TKD, but began with the speakers and I don't think it has ever been used this way by Dr. Okrand, though I do believe he has agreed that it is a clever way to do it).

One could argue that there is a fifth usage which is to move an object even further to the front of a sentence (i.e. before the adverb even). This is described in the addendum to TKD (Section 6.7, top of p.180 in the paper copies), but I claim that it is really an example of 3 above.


Okrand has used 4 in paq'batlh at least once: joqwI’’e’ cha’bogh qeylIS which banner Kahless marches under. I stopped looking once I found this one.


Good to know. Thanks.


Thank you, Sir. I shall try to understand all of that.


Don't work too hard on understanding and memorizing all of that. The first sentence answers your question. The rest you will learn as you go along.


Many thanks. And now I know where to start.


your face is the "topic," or the "focus..." The beautiful thing that the sentence refers to.


The emphasis on the noun, in this phrase only the one.

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