Newsgroup message of July 1, 1997

Subject: Re: questions as objects


Not answering the question of QAO, but giving some examples for SAO plus how to use SIv.


Newsgroup: Microsoft Network expert forum
Date: 01 Jul 1997


These two notes about "questions as objects" actually raise a large number of issues, so this will end up being a stretched-out (over time) response.

But here's a start.

All four words asked about (tul "hope," Qub "think," Sov "know," and SIv "wonder") can be used in the construction S 'e' V, where S is a sentence, 'e' is the pronoun ("that") which refers to a previous topic (in this case S), and V is one of the verbs listed above (as well as some others).

If the sentence (S) is tlhIngan Hol Dajatlh "you speak Klingon" (tlhIngan Hol "Klingon language," Dajatlh "you speak it"), it's OK to say:

tlhIngan Hol Dajatlh 'e' vItul "I hope that you speak Klingon"
(vItul "I hope it")
tlhIngan Hol Dajatlh 'e' vIQub "I think that you speak Klingon"
(vIQub "I think it")
tlhIngan Hol Dajatlh 'e' vISov "I know that you speak Klingon"
(vISov "I know it")
tlhIngan Hol Dajatlh 'e' vISIv "I wonder if you speak Klingon"
(vISIv "I wonder it")

The fourth example is weird from an English translation point of view, but it falls right in line in Klingon. If the English translation matched the pattern of the other three sentences, it would be "I wonder that you speak Klingon." In English, this means something like "I'm surprised that you speak Klingon" or "I don't understand how it can be that you speak Klingon," but this is not what the Klingon sentence means. The Klingon sentence means something more like "I am curious about whether you speak Klingon." The clumsiness here is the English, not the Klingon.

One other verb that can be used in the V slot in such sentences is Hon "doubt":
tlhIngan Hol Dajatlh 'e' vIHon "I doubt that you speak Klingon"
(vIHon "I doubt it")

I'll return on another occasion to the question of whether the sentence preceding the 'e' in such sentences can be a question. This is a more general issue than whether you can do it with SIv "wonder" and I need some clear guidance from Maltz.

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This message was reprintend in HolQeD v7 n2, p. 8, June 1998

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