tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Tue Oct 05 15:53:07 1993

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More on mI'QeD

Now that the list has moved to a new site, let me see if I can at long last
send to it, as well as receive.

So, let's assume you're reading this and I'll proceed with the topic.

I have to take exception to Will's position on adding a suffix, no matter how
useful, no matter how reasonable, no matter how well intentioned.  It's a
tough position to maintain, that although Klingon, by virtue of being an
artificial language, is by nature abitrary, the legitimate arbiters of the
language are few in number, and none post to this list.  Despite this, it's
still a position we MUST maintain, or the whole thing quickly flies apart.

But, into all of this let me offer a glimmer of hope.  Marc and I have spoken
at length about the need to address both lexical and grammatical issues in
tlhIngan Hol.  Obviously one way he can deal with this is by revealing
additional insights and pieces of the language in subsequent audio cassettes,
and in Klingon dialogue in future films.  But that's hardly sufficient, nor
very satisfying.  And he understands this.  Which is why he has agreed to
respond to these concerns by supplying HolQeD with regular (if occasional)
leaks of new words and grammatical points.

More specifically, he's working on such a list now.  We talked about it just
over a week ago, and he apologized for not having it done in time to include
in the September issue of HolQeD (and if you haven't gotten yours yet, it's
because the darn thing is still at the printer and won't go out till the end
of this week. sigh).  But, in time for the winter holidays, assuming you're a
member of the Klingon Language Institute, you can expect to see a short
addition to Klingon.

It's not a perfect solution, but it's the only we have that prevents the kind
of chaos that would otherwise descend upon the language.  I can't begin to
tell you (okay, I can begin) about the letters I get where people suggest new
words for things that are lacking from the mu'ghom, words which more often
than not transformations of their own names or the names of friends (don't
get me started on the woman who devised an entire Klingon astrological system
out of her own imaginings...).

Oh, and by the way, in the case of nga'chuq, this is one of the fun things
Krankor and I kicked around back at the summer camp.  Obviously this looks
like a simple verbal stem, nga', and the reflexive suffix, chuq.  Which means
you should be able to tell people things like:

  yInga''egh   <<translation left as an exercise for the reader>>

I mentioned this to Marc.  He thought this was amusing, but declined further
comment.  Ah, the loss to linguistic posterity.  Seriously though, there's a
real difference between reasonable extrapolition from existing forms, and
simply saying "ya know, Klingon sure could use a series of verbal suffixes
indicating the emotion with which an act is performed..."  Sorry, you can't
do it.  Not all languages have all the cool tricks you want them to have. 
Not even artificial ones.  Go figure.  But also, get over it.

:: Dr Lawrence M Schoen, Director   ::
:: The Klingon Language Institute   ::
:: POB 634, Flourtown, PA 19031 USA ::

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