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Subject: Re: Cardinal Directions (to Marc Okrand)


few details on cardinal directions


Newsgroup: Klingon Usenet Forum
Date: Wed, 1 Dec 1999 00:22:18 -0500


Alan Anderson wrote in message ...

>> [...]
>> The directional nouns may also be used with possessive
>> suffixes.
>Is this a regional feature, or is it common to all
>dialects? As I understand it, the locative nouns
>generally don't use the possessive suffixes, appearing
>instead in constructions like {jIH retlh} "area next to
>me". The exception is the speech typical of the Sakrej
>region, where the possessive suffixes are used to say
> [...]

Good point. I should have been more explicit.

In the standard dialect of Klingon (<ta' Hol>) and in most other dialects, the locative nouns (or nouns of location, or nouns expressing prepositional concepts) do not take possessive suffixes, while in the dialect of the Sakrej region, they do.

The directional nouns (<chan, 'ev, tIng>), on the other hand, take possessive suffixes in all dialects (or at least in all dialects studied to date).

It is also possible (though the Sakrej folks tend not to do this) to use the full pronoun plus locative noun construction with the directional nouns: "east of me" (literally "I area eastward") ( "I"). There is a slight meaning difference between , using the full pronoun, and , using the possessive suffix, however. The construction with the full pronoun emphasizes the pronoun (in this case "I," the speaker him/herself) as the reference point; the construction with the pronominal suffix is more neutral. Thus, is "east of me, east of where I am, east of here," but is "east of ME, to MY east."

Perhaps what occurred historically (though there may well be other explanations) is that the speakers of the Sakrej dialect took a grammatical rule which had a restriction ("possessive suffixes may follow directional nouns, but not other locative nouns") and generalized it (applied it more broadly) by eliminating the restriction ("possessive suffixes may follow locative nouns" -- or maybe even, simply, "possessive suffixes may follow nouns"). In theory, it could have happened the other way around. The speakers of some dialect -- including <ta' Hol> -- could have interpreted the rule to be "possessive suffixes never follow locative nouns except for directional nouns" and then made the rule apply more generally by dropping the exception (yielding "possessive suffixes never follow locative nouns"). But this didn't happen.

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Category: Canon    Latest edit: 06 Apr 2019, by MarcZankl    Created: 06 Apr 2019 by MarcZankl
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