tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Tue Jun 23 02:14:40 2009

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Re: Klingon orthography (was: Okrand at qep'a')

Michael Roney, Jr. (nahqun@gmail.com)



First I find it amusing that a post about orthography starts with an orthographic typo.
Second, tlhIngan Hol has survived and will continue to survive with it's current romanization.
I can read Klingon very easily just the way it is. I am a bit rusty with pIqaD, but I can pick it back up if it gains popularity.
I can even read pots formatted as XIFAN HOL.

That was THREE different systems.
That sounds like enough to me.

Third, I can view all of your nifty symbols *except* your suggestion for <Q>. Any symbol or character that isn't supported by default doesn't work.
That's why, among other reasons, pIqaD isn't used. Not everyone can view it.

But it does look like you put a lot of thought and effort into this. Good job.

~naHQun



-Michael Roney, Jr.
http://twitter.com/roneyii

--Sent from my Palm PreMichael Everson wrote:

On 22 Jun 2009, at 14:27, Dr. Lawrence M. Schoen wrote:

> Marc Okrand has just confirmed that, as he has so many times in the  
> past, he'll be joining us at the qep'a' on Friday (likely some time  
> in the evening), continuing on through Sunday morning.

NuqneH. It's been a long time. Alas I cannot attend the qep'a', but it  
is nice to be back.

Over the years I have thought, and thought, and thought again about  
the Latin orthography for Klingon. One reason I think about it is work  
I did consulting on an orthography for Udi (a language of Azerbaijan)  
and much (far too much) work in the Cornish Orthography Wars.

Can't we do something to improve it? I wonder if this could be raised  
with Marc Okrand. WIth all respect to him, his orthography has several  
rather serious shortcomings.

The first shortcoming is very serious indeed, in terms of data  
integrity. Since "q" and "Q" are used as separate letters of the  
alphabet, words cannot be distinguished in, for example, google  
searches. If a casing operation is accidentally applied to a run of  
Klingon text (say, upper-casing or lowercasing), the original text  
cannot be reconstructed. Okrand had other considerations when he  
designed Klingon orthography all those years ago, but now that we  
manage Klingon as data, a reform should be considered.

The second shortcoming is practical. In many fonts, the letters "I"  
and "l" are nearly identical. This can impede reading.

The third shortcoming is aesthetic. Because it eschews casing in  
general, Klingon text cannot take advantage of ordinary typographic  
conventions, which, in fairness, make any text easier to read.

I'm not the first to consider spelling reform. I don't know if it's  
been discussed on this list, actually. I saw this discussion from 2004 http://sauvagenoble.blogspot.com/2004/06/klingon.html 
  and then (of course?) there was my own musing earlier this year at http://www.evertype.com/blog/2009/01/tlhingan-hol-yighitlh.html 
  .

The Klingon alphabet is:

a b ch D e gh H I j l m n ng o p q Q r S t tlh u v w y â??

qaStaHvIS Hoch DIS, loSlogh HolQeD chenmoH tlhIngan Hol yejHaD;  
Deâ??maj qengwIâ?? potlhquâ?? â??oH. ghItlhmey leâ??, ghItlhmey motlh  
je ngaS Hoch jabbIâ??ID, â??ej tlhIngan HolQeD, tlhIngan Hol, tlhIngan  
nugh je qel. qechmeyâ??eâ?? ngaSbogh nungbogh jabbIâ??ID nuDmeH â??ej  
ghoHmeH nargh je laDwIâ??puâ?? jabbIâ??IDHommey; mavuvchuqmeH â??ej  
majaâ??chuqchuâ??meH nargh. HolQeD nIv lawâ??, QonoS motlh nIv puS:  
HaDchuâ??meH QonoS â??oH HolQeDâ??eâ??. â??oHDaq narghpaâ?? ghItlh,  
â??oH nuDchuâ?? latlh, â??ej ghItlh ghItlhwIâ?? Sovbeâ??. HolQeD jIH  
»yejquv paqghom«, â??ej â??oH boS je »DaH Hol yejHaD«.

===
In IPA this is

[a b tÊ? É? É? É£ x ɪ dÊ? l m n Å? o pÊ° q qÏ? r Ê? tÊ° tɬ u v w j Ê?]

[qaÊ?taxvɪÊ? xotÊ? É?ɪÊ?, loÊ?loÉ£ xolqÏ?É?É? tÊ?É?nmox tɬɪÅ?an xol  
jÉ?jxaÉ?; É?É?Ê?maj qÉ?Å?wɪÊ? potɬquÊ? Ê?ox. ɣɪtɬmÉ?j lÉ?Ê?,  
ɣɪtɬmÉ?j motɬ jÉ? Å?aÊ? xotÊ? jabbɪÊ?ɪÉ?, Ê?É?j tɬɪÅ?an  
xolqÏ?É?É?, tɬɪÅ?an xol, tɬɪÅ?an nuÉ£ jÉ? qÉ?l. qÉ?tÊ?mÉ?jÊ?É?Ê?  
Å?aÊ?boÉ£ nuÅ?boÉ£ jabbɪÊ?ɪÉ? nuÉ?mÉ?x Ê?É?j É£oxmÉ?x narÉ£ jÉ?  
laÉ?wɪÊ?puÊ? jabbɪÊ?ɪÉ?xommÉ?j; mavuvtÊ?uqmÉ?x Ê?É?j  
majaÊ?tÊ?uqtÊ?uÊ?mÉ?x narÉ£. xolqÏ?É?É? nɪv lawÊ?, qÏ?onoÊ? motɬ nɪv  
puÊ?: xaÉ?tÊ?uÊ?mÉ?x qÏ?onoÊ? Ê?ox xolqÏ?É?É?Ê?É?Ê?. Ê?oxÉ?aq narÉ£paÊ?  
ɣɪtɬ, Ê?ox nuÉ?tÊ?uÊ? latɬ, Ê?É?j ɣɪtɬ ɣɪtɬwɪÊ? Ê?ovbÉ?Ê?.  
xolqÏ?É?É? jɪx »jÉ?jquv paqÉ£om«, Ê?É?j Ê?ox boÊ? jÉ? »É?ax xol  
jÉ?jxaÉ?«.]

A casing orthography would give:

QaÊ?taxvɪÊ? xotÊ? É?ɪÊ?, loÊ?loÉ£ XolqÏ?É?É? tÊ?É?nmox TɬɪÅ?an Xol  
JÉ?jxaÉ?; É?É?Ê?maj qÉ?Å?wɪÊ? potɬquÊ? Ê?ox. Æ?ɪtɬmÉ?j lÉ?Ê?,  
ɣɪtɬmÉ?j motɬ jÉ? Å?aÊ? xotÊ? jabbɪÊ?ɪÉ?, Ê?É?j TɬɪÅ?an  
xolqÏ?É?É?, TɬɪÅ?an xol, TɬɪÅ?an nuÉ£ jÉ? qÉ?l. QÉ?tÊ?mÉ?jÊ?É?Ê?  
Å?aÊ?boÉ£ nuÅ?boÉ£ jabbɪÊ?ɪÉ? nuÉ?mÉ?x Ê?É?j É£oxmÉ?x narÉ£ jÉ?  
laÉ?wɪÊ?puÊ? jabbɪÊ?ɪÉ?xommÉ?j; mavuvtÊ?uqmÉ?x Ê?É?j  
majaÊ?tÊ?uqtÊ?uÊ?mÉ?x narÉ£. XolqÏ?É?É? nɪv lawÊ?, qÏ?onoÊ? motɬ nɪv  
puÊ?: xaÉ?tÊ?uÊ?mÉ?x qÏ?onoÊ? Ê?ox xolqÏ?É?É?Ê?É?Ê?. Ê?OxÉ?aq narÉ£paÊ?  
ɣɪtɬ, Ê?ox nuÉ?tÊ?uÊ? latɬ, Ê?É?j ɣɪtɬ ɣɪtɬwɪÊ? Ê?ovbÉ?Ê?.  
XolqÏ?É?É? jɪx »jÉ?jquv paqÉ£om«, Ê?É?j Ê?ox boÊ? jÉ? »É?ax xol  
jÉ?jxaÉ?«.]

===
In Americanist-type transcription one might render these:

a b Ä? d e ǧ h i j l m n Å? o p q x r Å¡ t Å? w v w y Ê?

QaÅ¡tahviÅ¡ hoÄ? diÅ¡, loÅ¡loǧ Holxed Ä?enmoh Å?iÅ?an Hol Yejhad;  
deâ??maj qeÅ?wiâ?? poÅ?quâ?? â??oh. ǦiÅ?mey leâ??, ǧiÅ?mey moÅ? je  
Å?aÅ¡ hoÄ? jabbiâ??id, â??ej Å?iÅ?an holxed, Å?iÅ?an hol, Å?iÅ?an nuǧ  
je qel. QeÄ?meyâ??eâ?? Å?aÅ¡boǧ nuÅ?boǧ jabbiâ??id nudmeh â??ej  
ǧohmeh narǧ je ladwiâ??puâ?? jabbiâ??idhommey; mavuvÄ?uqmeh â??ej  
majaâ??Ä?uqÄ?uâ??meh narǧ. Holxed niv lawâ??, xonoÅ¡ moÅ? niv puÅ¡:  
hadÄ?uâ??meh xonoÅ¡ â??oh Holxedâ??eâ??. â??Ohdaq narǧpaâ?? ǧiÅ?,  
â??oh nudÄ?uâ?? laÅ?, â??ej ǧiÅ? ǧiÅ?wiâ?? Å¡ovbeâ??. Holxed jih  
»Yejquv Paqǧom«, â??ej â??oh boÅ¡ je »Dah Hol Yejhad«.

or with casing glottals:

QaÅ¡tahviÅ¡ hoÄ? diÅ¡, loÅ¡loǧ Holxed Ä?enmoh Å?iÅ?an Hol Yejhad;  
deÉ?maj qeÅ?wiÉ? poÅ?quÉ? É?oh. ǦiÅ?mey leÉ?, ǧiÅ?mey moÅ? je Å?aÅ¡  
hoÄ? jabbiÉ?id, É?ej Å?iÅ?an Holxed, Å?iÅ?an hol, Å?iÅ?an nuǧ je qel.  
QeÄ?meyÉ?eÉ? Å?aÅ¡boǧ nuÅ?boǧ jabbiÉ?id nudmeh É?ej ǧohmeh narǧ je  
ladwiÉ?puÉ? jabbiÉ?idhommey; mavuvÄ?uqmeh É?ej majaÉ?Ä?uqÄ?uÉ?meh  
narǧ. Holxed niv lawÉ?, xonoÅ¡ moÅ? niv puÅ¡: hadÄ?uÉ?meh xonoÅ¡ É?oh  
holxedÉ?eÉ?. É?ohdaq narǧpaÉ? ǧiÅ?, É?oh nudÄ?uÉ? laÅ?, É?ej ǧiÅ?  
ǧiÅ?wiÉ? Å¡ovbeÉ?. Holxed jih »Yejquv Paqǧom«, É?ej É?oh boÅ¡ je  
»Dah Hol Yejhad«.

===
I had suggested:

a b c d e g h i j l m n Å? o p q ê?? r s t Å? u v w y â??

Qastahvis hoc dis, loslog Holê??ed cenmoh Å?iÅ?an Hol Yejhad; deâ??maj  
qeÅ?wiâ?? poÅ?quâ?? â??oh. GiÅ?mey leâ??, giÅ?mey moÅ? je Å?as hoc  
jabbiâ??id, â??ej Å?iÅ?an holê??ed, Å?iÅ?an hol, Å?iÅ?an nug je qel.  
Qecmeyâ??eâ?? Å?asbog nuÅ?bog jabbiâ??id nudmeh â??ej gohmeh narg je  
ladwiâ??puâ?? jabbiâ??idhommey; mavuvcuqmeh â??ej majaâ??cuqcuâ??meh  
narg. Holê??ed niv lawâ??, ê??onos moÅ? niv pus: hadcuâ??meh ê??onos  
â??oh Holê??edâ??eâ??. â??Ohdaq nargpaâ?? giÅ?, â??oh nudcuâ?? laÅ?,  
â??ej giÅ? giÅ?wiâ?? sovbeâ??. Holê??ed jih »Yejquv Paqgom«, â??ej  
â??oh bos je »Dah Hol Yejhad«.

===
The noble savage gives a narrow option:

a b c á¸? e ǧ h i Ç° l m n á¹? o p k Ï? r á¹£ θ tl u v w y â??

Kaṣθahviá¹£ hoc á¸?iá¹£, loá¹£loǧ HolÏ?eá¸? cenmoh Tliá¹?an Hol  
YeÇ°haá¸?; á¸?eâ??maÇ° keá¹?wiâ?? potlkuâ?? â??oh. Ǧitlmey leâ??,  
ǧitlmey motl Ç°e á¹?aá¹£ hoc Ç°abbiâ??iá¸?, â??eÇ° Tliá¹?an holÏ?eá¸?,  
Tliá¹?an hol, Tliá¹?an nuǧ Ç°e kel. Kecmeyâ??eâ?? á¹?aá¹£boǧ  
nuá¹?boǧ Ç°abbiâ??iá¸? nuá¸?meh â??eÇ° ǧohmeh narǧ Ç°e  
laá¸?wiâ??puâ?? Ç°abbiâ??iá¸?hommey; mavuvcukmeh â??eÇ°  
maÇ°aâ??cukcuâ??meh narǧ. HolÏ?eá¸? niv lawâ??, Ï?onoá¹£ motl niv  
puá¹£: haá¸?cuâ??meh Ï?onoá¹£ â??oh HolÏ?eá¸?â??eâ??. â??Ohá¸?ak  
narǧpaâ?? ǧitl, â??oh nuá¸?cuâ?? latl, â??eÇ° ǧitl ǧitlwiâ??  
á¹£ovbeâ??. HolÏ?eá¸? Ç°ih »YeÇ°kuv Pakǧom«, â??eÇ° â??oh boá¹£ Ç°e  
»�ah Hol Yeǰha�«.

and a broad option:

a b c d e g h i j l m n á¹? o p k Ï? r s t tl u v w y â??

Kastahvis hoc dis, loslog HolÏ?ed cenmoh Tliá¹?an Hol Yejhad; deâ??maj  
keá¹?wiâ?? potlkuâ?? â??oh. Gitlmey leâ??, gitlmey motl je á¹?as hoc  
jabbiâ??id, â??ej Tliá¹?an holÏ?ed, Tliá¹?an hol, Tliá¹?an nug je kel.  
Kecmeyâ??eâ?? á¹?asbog nuá¹?bog jabbiâ??id nudmeh â??ej gohmeh narg je  
ladwiâ??puâ?? jabbiâ??idhommey; mavuvcukmeh â??ej majaâ??cukcuâ??meh  
narg. HolÏ?ed niv lawâ??, Ï?onos motl niv pus: hadcuâ??meh Ï?onos â??oh  
HolÏ?edâ??eâ??. â??Ohdak nargpaâ?? gitl, â??oh nudcuâ?? latl, â??ej  
gitl gitlwiâ?? sovbeâ??. HolÏ?ed jih »Yejkuv Pakgom«, â??ej â??oh bos  
je »Dah Hol Yejhad«.

===
Of course it is easy to see that there is no difficulty with most of  
the letters, which are unchanged (modulo casing, since the idea is to  
free Klingon orthography to be able to use uppercase and lowercase in  
the normal way).

a b e h i j l m n o p r t u v w y '

The questions:

Should ch and gh remain digraphs and tlh a trigraph? Why isn't S a  
digraph, or Q?
Is it a problem for ng to be a digraph? (In principle, yes, depending  
on what is done with gh, because you could have a word-boundary ng-h  
or n-gh. Of course ng [nÉ¡], Å?g [Å?É¡], nǧ [nÉ£] and Å?ǧ [Å?É£] may  
all occur.

This attempts to mark the letters which are "different" from English,  
which is what Okrand did with capitalization and diagraphs:

A B Ä? Ä? E Ǧ Ħ I J L M N Å? O P Q QÌ? R Å  T Ŧ U V W Y â??
a b Ä? Ä? e ǧ ħ i j l m n Å? o p q qÌ? r Å¡ t ŧ u v w y â??

QaÅ¡tahviÅ¡ hoÄ? Ä?iÅ¡, loÅ¡loǧ HolqÌ?eÄ? Ä?enmoh ŦiÅ?an Hol YejhaÄ?;  
Ä?eâ??maj qeÅ?wiâ?? poŧquâ?? â??oh. Ǧiŧmey leâ??, ǧiŧmey moŧ je  
Å?aÅ¡ hoÄ? jabbiâ??iÄ?, â??ej ŦiÅ?an holqÌ?eÄ?, ŦiÅ?an hol, ŦiÅ?an  
nuǧ je qel. QeÄ?meyâ??eâ?? Å?aÅ¡boǧ nuÅ?boǧ jabbiâ??iÄ? nuÄ?meh  
â??ej ǧohmeh narǧ je laÄ?wiâ??puâ?? jabbiâ??iÄ?hommey; mavuvÄ?uqmeh  
â??ej majaâ??Ä?uqÄ?uâ??meh narǧ. HolqÌ?eÄ? niv lawâ??, qÌ?onoÅ¡ moŧ  
niv puÅ¡: haÄ?Ä?uâ??meh qÌ?onoÅ¡ â??oh HolqÌ?eÄ?â??eâ??. â??OhÄ?aq  
narǧpaâ?? ǧiŧ, â??oh nuÄ?Ä?uâ?? laŧ, â??ej ǧiŧ ǧiŧwiâ??  
Å¡ovbeâ??. HolqÌ?eÄ? jih »Yejquv Paqǧom«, â??ej â??oh boÅ¡ je »Ä?ah  
Hol YejhaÄ?«.

===
Replacing H q Q with x k q is a handy idea, if diacritics are to be  
shunned, though this will change wordforms quite a lot for anyone used  
to reading Klingon already.

Kastaxvis xoc dis, loslog Xolqed cenmox Å?iÅ?an Xol Yejxad; deâ??maj  
keÅ?wiâ?? poÅ?kuâ?? â??ox. GiÅ?mey leâ??, giÅ?mey moÅ? je Å?as xoc  
jabbiâ??id, â??ej Å?iÅ?an xolqed, Å?iÅ?an xol, Å?iÅ?an nug je kel.  
Kecmeyâ??eâ?? Å?asbog nuÅ?bog jabbiâ??id nudmex â??ej goxmex narg je  
ladwiâ??puâ?? jabbiâ??idxommey; mavuvcukmex â??ej majaâ??cukcuâ??mex  
narg. Xolqed niv lawâ??, qonos moÅ? niv pus: xadcuâ??mex qonos â??ox  
Xolqedâ??eâ??. â??Oxdak nargpaâ?? giÅ?, â??ox nudcuâ?? laÅ?, â??ej giÅ?  
giÅ?wiâ?? sovbeâ??. Xolqed jix »Yejkuv Pakgom«, â??ej â??ox bos je  
»Dax Xol Yejxad«.

===
So! Is there scope for a spelling reform in the Latin orthography for  
Klingon?

Qapla'!

Michael Everson * http://www.evertype.com/











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