tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Mon Jun 24 13:44:58 2002

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pabmey nap pagh napHa'

>nuqjatlh? Articles, gender, voice, tense, mood, aspect, irregular
>conjugations je Hutlh tlhIngan Hol net Sov. 'ach napDI' pab QIv'a' Hol?
>qechmey napmoH'a' pab nap? QIn pup lo' tlhIngan 'ach chuHchu'.

Articles: Klingon has none, but is that simplicity? Without articles it is 
actually harder to know if someone's noun reference is generic or specific. 
Other cues need to be used. Klingon indicates specificity with -vam and 
-vetlh, and genericness with vay', but the grammatical domain of *those* is 
considerably different from that of articles.

Gender: Klingon indicates no grammatical distinction of masculine and 
feminine, but it does indicate the distinction of sentience and 
non-sentience, and it does so even in the plural (bIH vs chaH), tho English 
specifically lacks any such distinction there. Oh yeah, and don't forget -Du' 
for body parts. Oh yeah, and -mey can be used for connotation. (This is so 
much simpler than English's simple -s, right?) Both English and Klingon have 
irregular plurals.

Voice: Voice refers to a change of valence in the verb, usually demoting one 
main argument (subject or object) to an oblique position or to non-reference. 
Klingon has a weak "version" of the passive voice in -lu'. Is -lu' really 
that simple? It screws up the prefixes, for one thing.

Tense: Right, no tense. Again, does that make it simpler? It becomes harder 
to understand. You frequently need to introduce time cues.

Aspect: Verbal aspect generally denotes the temporal, experiential, or 
sometimes even spatial structure of the situation described by the verb. What 
do you think -pu', -ta', -taH, and -lI' are??? Technically speaking, -choH 
and -qa' also indicate verbal aspect, and can be combined with -pu' etc. to 
yield some more complex aspectual results.

Mood: That's covered with -nIS, -vIp, -qang, -rup, and -beH.

Irregular conjugations: Klingon is agglutinative and orthogonal, so 
conjugations don't really apply. Conjugations are effectively absent from 

The Klingon verb prefixes -- There are 30-something of them. Are they trivial 
to master? English only has one subject-verb agreement affix, i.e. -s.

It's also no easy matter to manipulate -bogh clauses, or Klingon comparatives 
for that matter, except in the simplest cases.

There are things Klingon has that English lacks.

Qualification: -bej, -ba', -law', -chu', -na', -Hey, -qoq. Where are these in 

English has no direct counterparts to -moH or -meH, or to -'a' or -Hom, or to 

tlhIngan Hol is every bit as complex, intricate, and subtle as any other 
language. There are even some elements of the language that one would be 
hard-pressed to find represented in any terrestrial language family.

qa'ral, chaq Holvam Dajatlhchu' qaStaHvIS poH nI'. mu'tlhegh lugh 
DachenmoHmeH, De' law' SovnISlu' 'ej DaSovba' SoH. 'op ret De' puS neH DaSov 
'e' DalIj'a'?

Andrew Strader

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