tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Tue Jul 14 19:51:45 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)

Doq (

In general, I've seen plural suffixes on nouns only when there was no  
explicit number given.

I guess plurals are a little more complex than first imagined, so  
let's start with the obvious case. Both of these are correct:

Doch DIlegh.

Dochmey DIlegh.

The first one is probably more common because the kind of grammatical  
redundancy present in the second one is rare in Klingon. Replace {DI-}  
with {vI-} and it gets a little stranger:

Doch vIlegh.

Dochmey vIlegh.

Both are still correct, though the first example would be less common  
because there is no grammatical redundancy. The ONLY grammatical  
indicator that {Doch} is plural is the plural suffix. Without it, the  
noun is PROBABLY singular, but you can't be sure, because in Klingon,  
it is not incorrect to simply not indicate plurality where it does  
exist. If it is not important to you to express it, you don't have to.  
Since there is no SINGULAR marker, it is useful to be able to  
generalize to say that if NOTHING in the grammar indicates plurality,  
it is singular, but in Klingon, if you want to drive home the point  
that you see one thing and not plural things, you better say:

wa' Doch vIlegh.

Meanwhile, otherly numbered noun examples:

cha' Doch vIlegh.

cha' Dochmey vIlegh.

The first one is DEFINITELY more common. I have faint memories of some  
kind of Okrand statement about this -- that numbers essentially make  
the plural suffix unnecessary -- but my memory is very imperfect. Even  
*I* wouldn't trust me to remember this well. It likely is a false  
memory. Maybe I made it up because I want it to be true.

{pagh} is just another number. I would not put a plural suffix on  
anything already numbered with {pagh}. I won't say that it is  
definitely wrong, but *I* would not want MY name associated with any  
writing that had *pagh Dochmey* on it. It's just really ugly.

'round 'eze parts ain't nobody gonna respect ya' ifn ya talk like THAT.


On Jul 11, 2009, at 9:13 PM, 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}.
> As the use of plural forms is not mandatory in Klingon, apparently we
> can only hope this situation is explicitly stated in the rules, or
> that there are canonical usage of {pagh Dochmey}.
> AFAIK relevant canonical examples do not indicate whether {pagh
> Dochmey} is correct and percise Klingon, or is it just incorrect:
>    {Dal pagh jagh.} "No enemy is boring." [TKW p.201]
>    {pagh rep.} "midnight; zero hours" [CK]
>    {pa'vo' pagh leghlu'.} "(lit.) Nothing is seen from the room."
> [TKD p.39] [CK]
> [1]:
>  [2]:
> What is our consensus, if there is such a thing, about this?
> Regards,
> po'mIn
> On Mon, Jul 6, 2009 at 6:37 PM, Henning
> Eggers<> wrote:
>> Your question #76058 on Launchpad Translations changed:
>>   Status: Open => Needs information
>> Henning Eggers requested for more information:
>> I'm just curious. As Klingon is a language invented by English- 
>> speaking
>> people, I would have expected it to have the same plural  
>> expression. So
>> I'd just like to check back if you are sure about this.
>> English is nplurals=2; plural = n != 1
>> Example:
>> 0 files
>> 1 file
>> 2 files
>> The expression you are proposing would produce this example:
>> 0 file
>> 1 file
>> 2 files
>> Is that correct?
>> Henning
>> --
>> To answer this request for more information, you can either reply to
>> this email or enter your reply at the following page:
>> You received this question notification because you are a direct
>> subscriber of the question.

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