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  5. "Lurveng sees the underground…

"Lurveng sees the underground river."

Translation:wutlh bIQtIq legh lurveng.

November 4, 2018



Is this right? I thought this would be bIQtIq wutlh legh lurveng. Unless wutlh is a name, but...


"Be"-verbs used as adjectives are placed after the main noun. Nouns used as adjectives are placed before the main noun. When you see two nouns in a row the most likely situation is that the second is the thing being talked about and the first is describing that main noun.


I see from other exercises that underground is a name. I suppose it is just confusing as you can use underground as both a name and an adjective in English.

wutlhDaq biQtIq legh lurveng has a different meaning, but "underground river" feels different from "river of the underground", too.

(edited typo in wutlhDaq)


Both {wutlh} "underground" and {bIQtIq} "river" are indeed nouns. Stick two of them together and you get something called a "noun-noun construction". The order of those nouns is important and denotes the relationship between them.

Thus {bIQtIq wutlh} would be "the river's underground" or "the underground of the river". Indicating, I assume, the area within the ground beneath the river. Maybe a tunnel crossing under the river or something.

{wutlh bIQtIq} on the other hand is " the underground's river" or "the river of the underground". Indicating a river which flows under the surface of the ground.

Also pertinent to the noun-noun construction is a pesky grammatical rule that forbids a type-5 noun suffix (such as {-Daq}) on the first noun.


Your suggested sentence would be something more like "In the underground Lurveng sees the river." The two sentences could refer to something very similar, but also have ways they can be used differently. And whatever differences you think there are between "underground river" and "river of the underground", Klingon does not have the same distinction as they are both wutlh bIQtIq.

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