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  5. "'IQ be'Hom SoSDaj SamlaHbe'm…

"'IQ be'Hom SoSDaj SamlaHbe'mo'."

Translation:The girl was sad because she could not find her mother.

December 13, 2019



This sentence is weird to me with the -mo' clause at the end. I know some of these type-9 suffixes require the verb they're attached to, to be at the beginning of the sentence? How do I know which ones are which?


Most of the subordinate clauses can go in either order. The only one with a fixed order is -meH, where the -meH clause must always go before the main clause.


The syntactic verb suffixes of Klingon, also known as Type 9 suffixes, can be grouped according to how they're used:

Subordinate clauses
-chugh, -DI', -mo', -pa', -vIS
The subordinate clause may go before or after the main clause.

Purpose clauses
May modify either a noun or a verb (clause), and must come before the noun or verb (clause) it's modifying.

Relative clauses
The relative clause, including its subject and/or object and any other arguments it may have, are treated as a noun phrase.

-'a', -jaj
Puts a main clause into a different mood: interrogative (-'a') or optative (-jaj).

-wI', -ghach
Turns a verb into a noun.


There is also a type-5 noun suffix -mo' with a very similar function, and when it is used, the noun carrying it has to precede the clause it is modifying. For this reason, some Klingon speakers have the same weird feeling as you do on the subject, and tend to front -mo' clauses.


Note that "some Klingon speakers" refers to real people learning Klingon, not (fictional) Klingons themselves. Don't take this to mean that there is a linguistic tendency among Klingons to put -mo' clauses at the front.

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