Newsgroup message of June 29, 1997

Subject: Re: Tonight, this morning, etc.

Summary

How to convey the terms "tonight", "this morning", etc.

Source

Newsgroup: Microsoft Network expert forum
Date: 29 Jun 1997

Quote

William Martin wrote:
> How would you suggest we convey the terms "tonight", "this morning", etc.
> I was personally drawn toward sticking to time-centric terms rather than
> spacial-centric grammar and say {DaHjaj ram} and {DaHjaj po} rather than
> {ramvam} and {povam}, both because they didn't mix concepts of time and
> space and because it would naturally be extendable in the form of {wa'leS
> ram} or {wejHu' po}, while the use of {-vam} does not have that property.
> Meanwhile, in {HeghmeH QaQ jajvam}, you clearly showed that {-vam} works
> with time related terms.
>
> So, I'm open. What's your preference?

Regarding "tonight" and so forth, I'd go along with your suggestion:

DaHjaj ram "tonight" (literally "today night" or "today's night")
DaHjaj po "this morning" (literally "today morning" or "today's morning")
DaHjaj pov "this afternoon" (literally "today afternoon" or "today's afternoon")
DaHjaj DungluQ "this noon" (literally "today noon" or "today's noon")
DaHjaj ramjep "this midnight" (literally "today midnight" or "today's midnight")
DaHjaj pemjep "this midday" (literally "today midday" or "today's midday")

(The phrases "this noon," "this midnight," and "this midday" are a little awkward in English – we'd probably say "today at noon," "tonight at midnight," "today in the middle of the day" or something – but in Klingon, they fall right into place.)

In Klingon, you could even say DaHjaj pem "today's daytime," which would probably be typically contrasted with DaHjaj ram "today's night" (or "tonight").

wa'leS po "tomorrow morning," cha'leS po "the morning of the day after tomorrow" (literally "two-days-from-now morning"), and so on work quite nicely.

Adding -vam "this" to most words designating fixed periods of time seems to be the only way to indicate "current." Thus the current year or "this year" is DISvam (referring, of course, to a Klingon year, or DIS), the current month or "this month" is jarvam (jar "[Klingon] month"), and the current week or "this week" is Hoghvam (Hogh "[Klingon] week"). There don't seem to be special words for "the current year" and so forth comparable to DaHjaj "the current day" or "today." DaHjaj seems to be formed of the adverbial DaH "now" plus the noun jaj "day," a unique type of formation as far as I know. It is perhaps by analogy to DISvam, jarvam, etc. – all formed by simply adding a noun suffix to a noun – that Klingons also refer to the current day as jajvam "this day" (jaj "day, period from dawn to dawn").

Though they both can be translated "today," DaHjaj and jajvam are not quite interchangeable. As the time element in a sentence, DaHjaj (and not jajvam) is used:

DaHjaj romuluSngan vIHoHpu' "today I killed a Romulan"
(DaHjaj "today," romuluSngan "Romulan," vIHoHpu' "I have killed him/her")

As the subject of a sentence, on the other hand, jajvam is more typically found:
nI' jajvam "this day is long"
(nI' "[it] is long [in duration], jajvam "this day")

though DaHjaj is not impossible:

nI' DaHjaj "today is long"
(nI' "[it] is long [in duration], DaHjaj "today")

DaHjaj also behaves as a noun (as opposed to an adverbial element) in such noun-noun constructions as DaHjaj gheD "today prey" or "today's prey," a term often heard in Klingon restaurants with a meaning comparable to "catch of the day."

Phrases such as jajvam po "this day morning" or "this morning" are not common, but they're not ungrammatical either.

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