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  5. "tlhIngan wo'Daq be''e' jIH v…

"tlhIngan wo'Daq be''e' jIH val law' Hoch val puS."

Translation:I am the smartest woman in the Klingon empire.

January 9, 2019



The fact that there are two verbs or two subjects right next to each other in "be''e' jIH" and "jIH val" confuses me. Can somebody explain the structure, please?


I think this is supposed to be:

  • tlhIngan wo'Daq "In the Klingon empire, ..."
  • be''e' "as for women...; on the topic of women..."
  • jIH val law' Hoch val puS "I am the smartest"

(I'm not confident with these T'e' A Q law' B Q puS sentences myself so perhaps someone else can explain better.)


That is the proper breakdown. One thing to note is that -'e' does not indicate that the word is a subject. It indicates that the word is a topic or the focus of the clause. You may want to mark the subject as the focus or the object as the focus or you might even want to indicate a noun that is neither subject nor object as the topic, which is what is happening here.

The secret to breaking this down when you encounter a sentence like this in writing is to recognize the law'/puS construction and then recognize which parts are outside that construction and just additional information.

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