I am finding that I am confused about when to use the suffix 'e' on a word, what's the rule that I'm missing?

August 28, 2018

  1. Emphasis: "tlhIngan jIH'e'" -> "I, and only I, am a Klingon" vs. "tlhIngan jIH" -> "I am a Klingon"
  2. Marking the subject in a sentence of the structure "(subject)'e' is (object)" (see here:
  3. To mark the head noun of a relative clause:

Only the second one is mandatory (and if you forget, you can still claim to speak the Morskan dialect).

Have I forgotten any?

I don't believe that you can use -'e' on a pronoun acting as a verb.

Turns out I misread the example I had. Oops.

If the sentence uses a pronoun as a verb and it also explicitly states a subject noun, then the -'e' marker is required on that subject noun:

tlhIngan ghaH "He/She is a Klingon."
tlhIngan ghaH HoD'e' "The captain is a Klingon."

All other uses of -'e' are optional.

Even in a bogh phrase, where it can be very helpful to disambiguate, it is never required:

Qo'noS Dab ghoqwI' HoHbogh HoD could mean either, "The captain that killed the spy lived on Kronos," or, "The spy that the captain killed lived on Kronos."
Qo'noS Dab ghoqwI' HoHbogh HoD'e' can only mean "The captain that killed the spy lived on Kronos."
Qo'noS Dab ghoqwI''e' HoHbogh HoD can only mean "The spy that the captain killed lived on Kronos."

The -'e' suffix can also be used for focus/emphasis/topicalization, but that is very subtle and wouldn't be required on sentences in this course unless it says something like:

ghoqwI' HoH HoD'e' "The CAPTAIN (and not someone else) killed the spy."

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