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  5. "Sa' ghaH loDnI'wI''e'. marta…

"Sa' ghaH loDnI'wI''e'. martaq 'oH pongDaj'e'. DaSov'a'?"

Translation:My brother is a general. His name is Martok. Do you know him?

July 28, 2018



Could one say {oH'e' pongDaj} for a different emphasis? As in, "Martok IS his name."?


In the case of a pronoun as copula, the -'e' is not serving to emphasize, but rather, it is a required grammatical marker and must be appended to an explicit subject (like pongDaj in this sentence).


What exactly does it mark? I think I understand that it refers back to (toward?) the subject.


It marks the explicit subject referred to by the pronoun acting as verb.

Let's look at another type of Klingon sentence. 'IH pongDaj means, "His name is beautiful." 'IH 'oH means, "It is beautiful." We cannot use both 'oH and pongDaj even though they refer to the same thing (or maybe because they refer to the same thing). We have to choose whether we want to be explicit and state the subject or whether we want to use a pronoun and hope our audience will know what we are referring to.

In a "to be" sentence where we equate two nouns instead of using a verbal adjective (like 'IH), we have to use the pronoun like it was a verb. But it doesn't stop also being a pronoun. So, mataq 'oH is a complete sentence meaning, "It is Martok." But if we want to explicitly state the pronoun, we can't substitute pongDaj in place of 'oH the way we did in the other sentence. But we are also not allowed to just put the two words next to each other. We have to somehow mark the of grammaticality of this construction. So we use the focus/emphasis marker to add on the duplicate subject. Thus, martaq 'oH pongDaj'e' winds up saying something similar to, "It is Martok, I'm talking about his name."


No -- you can't put noun suffixes such as -'e' on pronouns when they are acting as the copula (similar to the verb "to be").

You would need a verb suffix; perhaps 'oHbej (definitely).

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