tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Thu Aug 22 15:09:27 2002

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Re: tlhIngan Hol lujatlhbogh puq'e'

> >I reject your (1) outright.  Klingon is a Klingon language, not a >Terran 
> >
>I disagree. Klingon may have been created to fit the role of an alien
>language for a series of movies and TV shows, but it was still created by a
>human, for the benefit of humans, so, by definition, it is a human 

Human languages are the way they are because they arise in communities of 
speakers.  Maybe a better word for this is "natural" language.  Artificial 
languages, by definition, are not natural languages.  You may say that 
Klingon is not a Klingon language because there are no real Klingons, which 
is fine.  But my point is that, because Klingon is not a natural human 
language, you cannot expect it to behave the same way that natural human 
languages do.  Maybe it does and maybe it doesn't, but if it does, you have 
to demonstrate that it does; you can't simply say that Klingon must do 
this-and-such because some other language you know (like French, for 
example) does the same thing.

Pascal is an artificial language.  People can learn to "speak" it 
(read/write).  But there are many ways in which it does not behave like a 
natural human language.  One example that is relevant for this discussion is 
that it does not use case marking for nouns.

Klingon was written by a linguist, and was written specifically to behave in 
some ways that natural human languages do not.  For example, all human 
languages are consistent in how they use color terms, within some 
parameters, as described by Berlin and Kay (1969).  Klingon specifically and 
intentionally violates this, and thus, does not behave like a natural human 


d'Armond Speers, Ph.D.

B. Berlin and P.Kay. Basic color terms: their universality and evolution. 
University of California Press, 1969.

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