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Subject: Re: 'ej and sequence (for Dr. Okrand)


In short, 'ej is neutral as to time


Newsgroup: Klingon Usenet Forum
Date: Fri, 20 Mar 1998 23:57:37 -0500


Marc Paige wrote ... >There has been some discussion lately about whether or not the conjunction
><'ej> has or does not have and sequential aspects. I agree with those that
>say that the sequencial nature of a joined phrases depends on the context of
>the phrases taken as a whole. This is the same way I treat 'and' in English.
>Do you have any words of wisdom to settle this dust up?

As far as I know, {'ej} means "and" in the sense of "in addition," "also," "as well as," and the like. It does not have any temporal or sequential implications. That is, it does not (by itself) mean "and then."

For example, Klingon {jISop 'ej jItlhutlh} "I eat and I drink" ({jI-} "I," {Sop} "eat," {tlhutlh} "drink") means "I eat and also I drink." It could refer to events that occur in alternating fashion (eat some, drink some, eat some, drink some more) or, especially in the case of some Klingons, events that occur pretty much simultaneously. It could also mean "I eat and then I drink," but it does not necessarily mean that. If that is the intended meaning (and if being a little vague or ambiguous or unclear will cause misunderstanding and hence discomfort), additional stuff must be added or the whole thing must be rephrased to make the meaning explicit (such as {jItlhutlhpa' jISop} "before I drink, I eat" [{-pa'} "before"]).

Similarly, the most likely interpretation of {jItlhutlh 'ej jIQong} "I drink and I sleep" ({Qong} "sleep") is not that I drink in my sleep (though it could be used for that if I really did it), but rather simply "I drink and also I sleep," a listing of two things I do, presumably (but not explicitly) not at the same time.

Then there's {qaDuQ 'ej bIregh} "I stab you and you bleed" ({qa-} "I [do something to] you," {DuQ} "stab," {bI-} "you," {regh} "bleed"). It probably would be used when the stabbing precedes (and is the direct cause of) the bleeding. But it doesn't explicitly say that; it only says "I stab you" and it also says "you bleed." The sequential interpretation (and/or the cause-and-effect interpretation) is due to the way the world works. Or some worlds.

Since it is possible to say either {jISop, jItlhutlh} "I eat, I drink" or {jISop 'ej jItlhutlh} "I eat and I drink" to refer to the same thing, it might seem as though {'ej} is optional. Grammatically, that's fair to say. In terms of meaning, however, when {'ej} is used, it adds something; it emphasizes or points out some sort of connection between the two events -- though not necessarily a temporal one.

Finally, although I've been referring to "events," the same holds for states and conditions and the like. Thus, {jIghung 'ej jIQeH} "I'm hungry and I'm angry" ({ghung} "be hungry," {QeH} "be angry") could be used if first I'm hungry and then (whether as a result of the pangs or not) I get angry, or if I'm hungry and angry at the same time, or if I waver between the two.

In short, {'ej} is neutral as to time.

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