tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Thu Aug 29 12:51:46 2002

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Re: tlhIngan Hol lujatlhbogh puq'e'

ja' tulwI':
>i just believe that cases exist, even if they are not marked. what
>does that mean? it means that when i read a sentence, i assign
>automatically cases for the nouns in order to understand
>grammatically the sentence, in order to re-build the sentence in my

I believe that using the word "case" for this concept is wrong.  If you're
trying to map the nouns into a sentence you can understand, then any
unmarked cases are irrelevant.  What I think you're doing is determining
the actual *roles* of the nouns in the sentence, regardless of any
hypothetical case they might or might not have.

>for example, does english have cases? the way you talk about klinogn,
>you should say, no, it hasn't. the only exceptions are "i, me", "he,
>him", but nouns don't have cases. is that true?

Nouns themselves are not marked for case in English.  However, the grammar
surrounding them to make up a noun phrase often does indicate specific
cases.  Klingon might be similar, or it might not.  I think the easiest
explanation is that type 5 noun suffixes mark the role of a noun
syntactically, and you don't have to invoke "case" at all in order to
describe Klingon sentences well.

>hm. i just had an idea. your point is that klingon is not a human
>language. well, that's ok and that's all right. more and more i have
>doubts that with my theories i could ever describe klingon to a
>klingon. in fact, what i do has nothing to do with klingons, but with
>humans. that's why i thought, subconsciously, that it would be a good
>trick to describe klingon to humans _as if_ it were a human language.
>and as humans seem to use cases, it would be good to describe klingon
>with cases, for humans only. well, of course this doesn't mean that
>klingon really _has_ cases, it's just that humans like to see cases
>like in all the other languages.

Here's another possible reason why your focus on case isn't getting you
anywhere:  Most people who speak English don't have a clue what "case"
means, because it's almost never mentioned in classes on English grammar
for people who speak English.

Native English speakers do *not* like to see cases like in all the other
langauges, because they don't see case in *their* language.  Learning about
cases makes things more complicated.

>yeah, that's a nice point. how does klingon work? what is klingon?
>isn't it linked to the speakers? i don't know how the brain of a
>klingon works, but in a human brain it will surely work like all the
>other languages. that's why i prefer a human language description.

We have a large body of examples showing how Klingon works.  We have a few
detailed explanations telling us *why* Klingon works in certain ways, and
why it doesn't work in other ways.  If you follow the examples and avoid
the traps, you'll eventually build up a model of how Klingon works in your
own brain which is externally indistinguishable from the way it works in a
putative Klingon brain.  And you won't confuse yourself by applying
irrelevant and perhaps incorrect descriptions.

>>As I indicated above, we defined "case" for this discussion to exclude
>no one excluded anything, you just didn't mention it before.

Defining a term by giving a list *does* exlude things not on that list.
This is why your use of the term "case" is causing problems -- you're
obviously carrying along ideas about case from other languages which simply
are not clearly applicable to Klingon.

> a human, i don't see any
>other possibility than to describe a language as a human language.

yablIj yISachmoH.  DuHmey pIm tIlajchoH.

>and i don't understand why you believe that mark ocrand succeded to
>create a languguage that is not human. and i don't understand why you
>think that you as a human being could be able to speak an alian
>language with an alian understanding of that language. you are human,
>aren't you? so you speak klingon in a human way.

This is the same sort of argument as saying that an Italian would always
speak Chinese in an Italian way.  I have more faith in the flexibility of
the human mind than you apparently do.

>no one of us knows how klingon really works, as no one of us has a
>klingon brain. sorry, but that's the reality.

We can model how Klingon works in such a way that it matches how Klingon
looks.  If different models produce the same result, is the difference

The issue here is that when a model which explicitly considers case is
compared to the language as described in The Klingon Dictionary, the "case"
model has extra parts on it that do nothing.  Removing them doesn't change
what it produces.  Leaving them on makes it seem that they are an important
part of the model.

I could tape a magnet to the fuel line of my car and label it "laminar flux
alignment", but that doesn't mean that flux alignment has anything to do
with the operation of the engine.  Other machines might have such a thing,
but my car does not.

>i don't think that i'm misleading, but you're right. if i were
>misleading, then it's absolutely wrong what i do. but there is
>nothing wrong yet.

You're putting labels on things, but we don't all agree that those things
even exist.  Labels are not productive, and they can be very misleading if
they're chosen to be the same as labels on a different model of a different

-- ghunchu'wI'

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