tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Wed Apr 17 00:38:48 2002

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Re: "be'be'" - double negation

>Sean M. Burke wrote:
>>His assuming the reader reads English is one thing; his assuming that his
>>reader will look at the words, note that they're in English and thus
>>suppose "He means me to assume Klingon is like English in all points not
>>demonstrated otherwise" is another.
>>In my experience, linguists just don't do that.

ja' Sengval:
>Your experience tells you what it tells you, but we're still only guessing at
>the thoughts of someone that I don't believe either one of us has ever met.

Meanwhile, a number of us *have* met Marc Okrand, and we can report that he
been quite explicit about how he intended The Klingon Dictionary.  It is
almost as much of a parody of language guides as it is a useful language
guide itself.  He intentionally kept it "dumbed down" for non-linguists,
and generally went out of his way to mention things only when they differed
from English.  He didn't assume that readers would actually think "Oh,
Klingon is just like English except where otherwise specified."  He just
figured that would happen by default without conscious effort on the part
of the reader, who could reasonably be expected to be a Star Trek fan
rather than a linguist (or amateur language geek).

So if you notice a grammatical concept like "negative particle agreement"
which isn't in English and also isn't mentioned in TKD, you can be pretty
confident that Klingon doesn't have it.

-- ghunchu'wI'

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