tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Wed Feb 17 13:53:04 1999
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Re: gauntlets (was: another new-to-the-list person's question)
On Sat, 13 Feb 1999 22:48:24 -0800 (PST) NoIkons@aol.com wrote:
> Please excuse; I also am new to the list but have an observation that I hope
> may be worthy of the consideration of this august council:
> One notes a strong similarity between the style of Klingon (so far as I have
> seen thus far) and the Oriental languages, especially Japanese.
We've heard people say, "Klingon is a lot like
Arabic/German/Native American/etc." I just heard on the radio
last night that there are about 4,000-7,000 languages in the
world (depending on what is called a language vs. a dialect).
Odds are that anybody making up a new language will put things
in it that will look "like" quite a few of them.
So long as you recognize that Okrand intentionally sprinkled
interesting features from other languages while avoiding any
major overall similarities with any of them, such comments are
appreciated and enjoyed. Okrand clearly didn't start with
Japanese and then changed a few things to make it alien. The
basic structure is as uncommon as Okrand could make it in an
accellerated time frame. (He was making this up for a movie,
> Points of similarity include:
> 1. Emphasis on verbs, vice nouns
The same is true for Cherokee, though I doubt Cherokee came from
> 2. Heavy usage of suffixes and prefixes as modifiers, and to show tones or
The emphasis thing in Klingon is actually quite weak. The
glottal stop is not added in order to create emphasis. It is a
simple consonant which happens to affect the emphasis of some
syllables. As for suffixes and prefixes as modifiers, check out
Cherokee. You'll be impressed.
> 3. Compounding of simple nouns to create awkward-sounding complex nouns (to
> the anglo-phone ear; cf japanese "mouth speaking tens" for english "cashier").
Check out German. The Brandenburg Concerti's real name (the
German one) is one word. It has to be one of the all time great
languages for making large nouns. Cherokee does a respectable
job, too, since its nouns are based on verbs. The word for shoes
means "You walk in them." The 1920s word for "automobile" meant,
"It stares." The more modern word means, "It moves around on
> Might I be too far afield, then, if I were to speculate that the cryptic marks
> mentioned on a certain pair of gaunlets might be pictographic in origin, or
> even a stylized or phonetic pictograph? If the gauntlets were of ancient
> origin one might even speculate that they represented an archaic and "lost"
> link in the development of Klingon written language.
Unfortunately, the gauntlets are known to have characters
designed and sequenced by Okuda, who openly states that he
greeks everything he writes in Klingon. It is gibberish. We may
enjoy making stuff up that it might mean, but we know it is
> Respectfully submitted,
> No Ikons,
> also called Power Is Not Added Freely.