Apposition is a grammatical construction in which two elements, normally noun phrases, are placed side by side, with one element serving to identify the other in a different way.(1) English example: "My friend John is a doctor" – "John" is the apposition, clarifying that I have many friends, but I am restricting my statement to the one named John.

There are some examples where this phenomena has been used in Klingon, but the term apposition has not been not mentioned in The Klingon Dictionary. So there are no written rules about it.

Canon klingon examples

qeylIS loDnI' 'opleS chovan
One day, brother Kahless, you will bow before me. (paq'batlh)

DuraS tuq tlhIngan yejquv patlh luDub 'e' reH lunIDtaH DuraS be'nI'pu' lurSa' be'etor je.
The sisters of the House of Duras, Lursa and B'Etor are constantly seeking a higher standing for the House of Duras within the Klingon High Council. (SkyBox Cards #26)

2 nouns in apposition

Two nouns in an apposition can look like a noun-noun-construction, so is is not clear whether qeylIS loDnI' is "brother Kahless" or "the brother of Kahless". This can only be recognized through context.

Appositions on wI-nouns

There are some noun-noun constructions with a verb+wI' noun that appear to be appositions, i.e. having a second word clarifying the first part. Grammatically spoken though, these are just standard noun-noun-constructions. Basically, all of the following words could work without their final, defining part.

DIr QanwI' taS
One might be tempted to translate this as QanmeH taS "liquid to protect", as in ghojmeH taj "learning knife". But here, the basic phrase is DIr QanwI' "skin protector" and the apposition taS liquid is added to make clear one is not speaking about some other kind of protector. This is literally "skin protector liquid".

wab labwI' jan
One might be tempted to translate this as labmeH jan "device to send". But here, the basic phrase is wab labwI' "sounds transmitter" and the apposition jan device is added to make clear one is not speaking about a radio station, but the device itself. This literally "sound transmitter device".

QaDmoHwI' DIr
Just like the other examples, this is not a "skin in order to dry", it is a "dryer skin". The apposition DIr skin is added to make clear one is not speaking about a device (like a hairdryer) but a towel (lit. "skin").

Attention! Not all of those "verb-wI' plus noun" are automatically appositions. Some of the known words are really just noun-noun-constructions:
  • lIghon DuQwI' pogh is simply a "ligonian spike-glove", not a "glove" version of a DuQwI'.
  • SeHwI' pat is a "control(ler) system"; It does not mean that there are different kinds of SeHwI'
  • bIQ ghaywI' pa' is the "room of the shower"; It does not mean that there are different kinds of bIQ ghaywI'

See also


1 : Apposition on Wikipedia

Category: Grammar    Latest edit: 23 Feb 2020, by KlingonTeacher    Created: 03 Dec 2015 by KlingonTeacher
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