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How to use nuq, what?

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Here are some examples I have seen in various places for using nuq. What is the difference between X nuq and nuq 'oH X'e'. I know that with the former sentence, nuq is acting like a pronoun like jIH or maH. But in terms of meaning, not syntax, what is the difference between these two sentences? How is dochvetlh nuq different than nuq 'oH dochvetlh'e'?

And in the following examples, why doesn't nuq mI'lIj need to be nuq 'oH mI'lIj'e'?

nuqDaq jIQong? Where do I sleep?

nuqDaq 'oH....'e'? Where is the ....?

nuq mI'lIj? What is your number?

nuq 'oH Dochvam'e'? What is this or this is what???

X nuq? What is X?

9/30/2018, 2:55:57 AM

6 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/jdmcowan
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Officially, the difference between Dochvetlh nuq and nuq 'oH Dochvetlh'e' is exactly the same as the difference between, "What is that thing?" and "That thing is what?" That is to say, officially different, but almost never in any significant way.

nuq mI'lIj is a very special phrase and should probably not be used as a model. It was created as part of a work that has a number of errors and before the rules for question words as pronoun-as-verb were well codified. If nuq is being used as a verb then it needs to follow the noun that's being asked about, so then there is no verb in that "sentence". I think we need to treat nuq mI'lIj as a special ungrammatical phrase, much like nuqneH.

When asking where something happens or where a thing is located, you still need a verb. So for an action, put nuqDaq as a locative at the front of the sentence describing that action. For the location of a thing, put nuqDaq as a locative at the front of a "to be" sentence without an object.

I hope that answers your questions, but if there was a part of your question that I missed, please clarify. However the real question is whether you can ask something like ??nuqDaq nuq??, since it follows the pronoun-as-verb for location patterns, but includes two question words and can't put the answer to nuq in the exact same location as the question pronoun.

9/30/2018, 6:17:14 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/DavidTrimb3

Officially, the difference between Dochvetlh nuq and nuq 'oH Doxhvetlh'e' is exactly the same as the difference between, "What is that thing?" and "That thing is what?"

Except there is no indication that either is as awkward in Klingon as That thing is what? is in English. So far as we know, both Klingon versions are equally acceptable.

nuq mI'lIj is a very special phrase and should probably not be used as a model. It was created as part of a work that has a number of errors and before the rules for question words as pronoun-as-verb were well codified. If nuq is being used as a verb then it needs to follow the noun that's being asked about, so then there is no verb in that "sentence". I think we need to treat nuq mI'lIj as a special ungrammatical phrase, much like nuqneH.

There does not need to be a verb in a "to be" sentence. There only needs to be a noun and a pronoun. The question words 'Iv and nuq are pronouns: they stand in for the answer. That's why they can also be used in "to be" sentences.

I don't think nuq mI'lIj is a grammatically isolated, standalone phrase. It is probably just as grammatically normal as Dochvam nuq. At worst, it's an error of syntax order, but I don't think so. We also get both SoH 'Iv and 'Iv SoH for Who are you? I think either order is allowed; we just see the parallel-to-regular-pronouns order a little more.

When asking where something happens or where a thing is located, you still need a verb.

No you don't. "To be" sentences don't have verb-like pronouns because all sentences need verbs. "To be" sentences work by squishing together a noun and a pronoun. That the pronoun is then allowed to be verb-like to express certain concepts is not a result of needing there to be some kind of verb.

"To be" sentences follow a different grammar than basic sentences. Ignore OVS syntax completely for "to be" sentences; it doesn't apply.

9/30/2018, 9:21:52 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/jdmcowan
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I don't think nuq mI'lIj is a grammatically isolated, standalone phrase. It is probably just as grammatically normal as Dochvam nuq. At worst, it's an error of syntax order, but I don't think so.

Except that TKD says, "The pronoun always follows the noun."

We also get both SoH 'Iv and 'Iv SoH for Who are you?

Clearly in SoH 'Iv the 'Iv is performing as a pronoun-as-verb "to be". And in 'Iv SoH the SoH is performing as pronoun-as-verb "to be".

"To be" sentences work by squishing together a noun and a pronoun.

I suppose that's one way to look at it, but I believe it's more helpful to think of the pronoun as acting like a verb, especially since it then only takes verbal suffixes and not noun suffixes.

Ignore OVS syntax completely for "to be" sentences

Again, I think you and I just have different ways of presenting the same grammatical structures. Mine allows students to continue to think of it as OVS.

9/30/2018, 9:42:11 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/DavidTrimb3

Our different ways of presenting it lead to different allowed grammar. Your way denies phrases like nuq mI'lIj, which we have seen.

If we're going to appeal to the layman's grammar of TKD, let's remember that it says on page 68, of noun-pronoun "to be" sentences, that "the subjects are pronouns." That is, in tlhIngan jIH, the jIH is the subject. It's not standing in for the verb. Yet the sentence is noun-pronoun-topic when "the subject is a noun."

tlhIngan jIH (jIH is the subject.) pa'wIjDaq jIHtaH (jIHtaH is the subject.)

tlhIngan ghaH HoD'e' (HoD'e' is the subject.)

Unless the role of "verb" is changing between these forms, there is no verb at all. This simply does not follow the OVS structure of basic sentences.

And TKD also gives us an outline for "basic sentences," in which OVS is explained, and the "to be" sentence is explained outside of that outline. "To be" sentences are outside the scope of basic sentences and OVS.

9/30/2018, 10:01:44 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/jdmcowan
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Our different ways of presenting it lead to different allowed grammar. Your way denies phrases like nuq mI'lIj, which we have seen.

In fact, TKD denies phrases like nuq mI'lIj. I'm comfortable calling it a special phrase that shouldn't be used as a model.

let's remember that it says on page 68, of noun-pronoun "to be" sentences, that "the subjects are pronouns."

Yep. In fact, I usually teach that the pronoun is acting as prefix, verb, and subject all together which is why you have to use the -'e' topic marker on what would otherwise seem to be a normal OVS. "To be" sentences are, indeed outside the scope of basic OVS sentences, but they can still be thought of as a special variation on them.

9/30/2018, 10:11:12 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/phuvtuo
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Thank you for your replies to this post. Reading the different ways this can be looked at is very helpful. I mean that truly.

10/1/2018, 2:30:52 AM
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