tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Mon Jul 13 06:40:35 2009

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RE: {pagh Doch} or {pagh Dochmey}? (Fwd: [Question #76058]: Klingon plural expression is this: Plural-Forms: nplurals=2; plural=n > 1)

Steven Boozer (

pm5 wrote:
>> I was [proposing][1] a Klingon plural expression in [Launchpad
>> translation][2], so they can setup the system to help translating
>> software into Klingon. I was asked to verify that "zero things" in
>> Klingon is {pagh Doch} instead of {pagh Dochmey}.

>I would probably never say {pagh Dochmey}.  "Zero" is not more than
>one thing.  I often leave off the plural suffix when counting things
>explicitly anyway.  For something like a count of computer files I
>think I prefer it that way:
>   0 file
>   1 file
>   2 file

Exactly right.  We even have two examples of {pagh} with a noun (both lacking the plural suffix):

  pagh rep 
  midnight ("zero hour[s]") CK 

  Dal pagh jagh 
  No enemy is boring. TKW

The other known examples of {pagh} "zero" are in coordinates and bearings (e.g. "zero-zero-zero, mark two").

>The only time a plural suffix is "required" is when distinguishing
>between the "each" and "all" meanings of {Hoch}:
>   {Hoch ta}    "each record"
>   {Hoch tamey} "all records"

If you want chapter-and-verse:

  The plural suffixes ({-pu', -mey}) are not necessary when a
  number is used.   [TKD 3.3.2]

Canon Master of the Klingons

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