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  5. "Narans are fruits."

"Narans are fruits."

Translation:naHmey bIH na'ranmey'e'.

June 26, 2019

14 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LeeGOgletree

I'm trying to work past the reflex of adding an 'e' when I see a "pronomial?" in a certain context. But TKD clearly tells us that word order is OVS. So I guess that the topical 'e''s function is to clarify phrases in complex speech. After all, if one's grammar is not perfect, most klingons won't notice, eh?

June 26, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jdmcowan

I don't think I understand. A reflex to add -'e' to the "topic" of a pronoun as copula is a good thing, since -'e' is grammatically required there.

Though, you are correct that most Klingonists will immediately recognize what you meant to say.

June 26, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LeeGOgletree

What I mean by "reflex" is that I know that I'll be wrong if I don't use the "e". But I barely understand it. "naHmey'e' bIH na'ranmey..." The fruits that are narans...?

June 26, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DavidTrimb3

The -'e' is a topicalizer. Its job is to tell you the central idea of the sentence. naHmey bIH na'ranmey'e' As for narans, they're fruits. The -'e' means that narans are the central idea of the sentence.

naHmey'e' bIH na'ranmey is not allowed. The -'e' must always go on the final noun.

naHmey bIHbogh na'ranmey'e' the narans which are fruits
na'ranmey bIHbogh naHmey'e' the fruits which are narans

June 26, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LeeGOgletree

Thank you very much.

June 26, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jdmcowan

Note that the core sentence is naHmey bIH ("They are fruit.") When using the pronoun for an equivalence it acts as both subject and verb. The extra word at the end is not really part of that core:
tlhIngan ghaH ("She is a Klingon")
toQDuj 'oH ("It is a Bird of Prey")
SuvwI' chaH ("They are warriors")

Notice that none of those sentences use -'e'. It is not needed for that core sentence.

If the sentence also needs to express what or who the bIH, ghaH, 'oH, or chaH are, then you have to add an appendage to that core sentence. We do this by adding a topic which matches the pronoun and tagging it with the marker -'e':
naHmey bIH na'ranmey'e' ("As for narans, they are fruit." or "Narans are fruit.")
tlhIngan ghaH HoD'e' ("As for the captain, she is a Klingon." or "The captain is a Klingon.")
toQDuj 'oH Duj'e' ("As for the ship, it is a Bird of Prey." or "The ship is a Bird of Prey.")
SuvwI' chaH tlhInganpu''e' ("As for Klingons, they are warriors" or "Klingons are warriors.")

June 26, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LeeGOgletree

Thank you both . Now this may sound blockheaded, but how does "tagging" the topic which matches the pronoun, tell me the central idea of the sentence? I guess that in "English (as I'm translating)," it really doesn't do anything. But I think I read that some human languages have similar concepts.

June 26, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jdmcowan

I'm not sure where you're getting "central idea of the sentence" from. I suppose that might be a good way to describe the topic of a paragraph or essay. But in a sentence the grammatical topic is not so much the central idea, but rather indicates a context for the rest of the sentence. Sort of like, here's a thing you need to consider or compare when trying to understand what the comment in the rest of the sentence is talking about.

Naran are what you must consider to understand what I mean when I say "They are fruit."

Klingons are what you must consider to understand what I mean when I say, "They are warriors."

In ST V: The Final Fronteir qIbDaq SuvwI’’e’ SoH Dun law’ Hoch Dun puS means: warriors in the galaxy are what you must consider to understand what I mean when I say, "You are greater than all."

English does use topics, but doesn't use grammatical markers the way Klingon does (or like Japanese does). English uses phrases like "as for ..." or "It was that ..."

June 27, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DavidTrimb3

I'm not sure where you're getting "central idea of the sentence" from. I suppose that might be a good way to describe the topic of a paragraph or essay. But in a sentence the grammatical topic is not so much the central idea, but rather indicates a context for the rest of the sentence. Sort of like, here's a thing you need to consider or compare when trying to understand what the comment in the rest of the sentence is talking about.

A grammatical topic names what the rest of the sentence is about. It doesn't just provide context. It really does name the central idea of the sentence.

Wikipedia seems to be down at the moment, so here's a cached page: https://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:u2FvLKrYYEgJ:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Topic_and_comment+&cd=3&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us

This is what Klingon -'e' does when it's being stuck on the final noun of a "to be" sentence.

puqpu' chaH qama'pu''e'
As for the prisoners, they are children.

pa'DajDaq ghaHtaH la''e'
As for the commander, he is in his quarters.

Let's talk about the prisoners. Ready to talk about the prisoners? Okay, about the prisoners: they are children. That's what the -'e' does.

Why do you have to use the -'e'? Because that's the rule. No other reason.

Notice that when -'e' is used on a subject or object in an OVS clause, it doesn't indicate topic, it indicates focus or emphasis.

jIlujpu' jIH'e'
I, and only I, have failed.

De''e' vItlhapnISpu'
It was the information (and not something else) that I needed.

In the first, I am not what the sentence is all about; the -'e' simply brings focus on the jIH, so that the listener knows that it was definitely jIH and not someone else. The second draws focus to the information, to make sure you understand it's not something else.

-'e' has these two separate jobs.

June 27, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Qov-jIH-je

The general rules of Klingon would also make it correct to build a sentence like na'ranmey'e' naH bIH. First you have a noun with a type-5 suffix, setting context for the sentence, and then a pronoun acting as a verb, plus its subject. It's normal for nouns with a type-5 suffix to go before the OVS. That sentence would specifically mean "As for na'rans, they are fruits," calling out the narans in a marked way. But for the straightforward "Naran's are fruits" the noun with the -'e' has to go last.

Why Klingon does this may trace back to fossilized grammar from no' Hol, (i.e. maybe Marc developed the "type-5 nouns go first" rule after he worked out his copula formula?)

Reflexively adding that -'e'' is a good thing, but remember to only do it when a PRONOUN is acting as the verb. I'm seeing some learners writing things like: *{val ghaH mara'e'} when they want to say {val mara}. But I'm late to the party in this thread, and you're probably well beyond here by now.

July 25, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DavidTrimb3

Okrand not too long ago clarified that putting an -'e' noun before the OVS that isn't an emphasized object would be highly marked. That is, you wouldn't usually put a topic noun before the OVS if it didn't have some other role in the sentence.

But Okrand has twice used "fronted" topic nouns on non-OVS sentences. The first is the superlative sentence from Star Trek V: qIbDaq SuvwI''e' SoH Dun law' Hoch Dun puS You would be the greatest warrior in the galaxy. The second is in Klingon for the Galactic Traveler: DaHjaj SuvwI''e' jIH Today I am a warrior.

July 25, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jdmcowan

I am in much disagreement with this restriction and think that -'e' as an actual ante-OVS topic marker would be a huge benefit to the language. Do you remember where that recent clarification by Dr. Okrand can be found?

July 25, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DavidTrimb3

Hm, I may have misunderstood the explanation. Looking back over it, it seems that fronting -'e' as described in the TKD Addendum is what is marked. Topic nouns with no other roles are not discussed.

http://lists.kli.org/pipermail/tlhingan-hol-kli.org/2017-July/004609.html

July 25, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DavidTrimb3

Basic sentences are OVS. "To be" sentences are not.

June 26, 2019
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