tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Tue Apr 30 23:21:41 2002

Back to archive top level

To this year's listing

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next]

Re: what sounds weird

>>From: "Sangqar (Sean Healy)"
>>And I don't really see a problem in general with using parallels from
>>natural language to illustrate points in Klingon. If some natural 
>>have a certain feature and use it a certain way, and Klingon also has that
>>feature, what could be more natural than to go with what's natural?
>>(Barring specific instruction from Okrand, of course.)
>But that is the nub of the matter.  Klingon was designed to flaunt
>"unnatural" language elements, in order to emphasize that it is supposed to
>be an extraterrestrial language (but not so much that we couldn't 
>it or speak it).  What is natural for humans is not necessarily natural for


>Klingon was designed to be a language spoken by ALIENS.  Their brains don't
>necessarily process language the same way as ours, and this was what Okrand
>had in mind.  To go and say that something that seems natural in one human
>language goes to show what's natural in Klingon is to completely miss the
>point that this is meant to be a non-human language.  If we are to study
>Klingon under the fiction that Klingons actually exist and speak this
>language, we CANNOT assume that what our non-Klingon brains say works is
>correct.  We must question everything.

'ach Qappu' qechwIj.

It wasn't just one language - several languages have the feature in question 
(pronoun drop).  I used an example from the one I'm most copmfortable with, 
but they all work in a similar manner.  (Well, I shouldn't say all, as I 
haven't studied every single language with this feature.  But of the four I 
have studied, one of which is non-Indo-European, all work in the same way.)  
The fact is, where Okrand has not given us instruction, we have to use our 
human brains to figure out what to do.  My strategy of holding Klingon up to 
natural languages works for me more often than not.  (I'm guessing that this 
is because despite his attempts to make Klingon seem alien, Okrand's brain 
is still human.)

Furthermore, I wasn't just assuming it would work.  I *was* questioning it.  
That was my original post:  Here's something I want to say and two ways I 
might say it.  My experience with natural languages points me in one 
direction, but I'm asking the experienced speakers which of these two is 
better.  (Or is there a third option I haven't thought of?)

MSN Photos is the easiest way to share and print your photos:

Back to archive top level