tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Mon Nov 23 06:34:11 2009

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Re: The topic marker -'e'

Tracy Canfield (

2009/11/23 ghunchu'wI' 'utlh <>
> On Mon, Nov 23, 2009 at 12:14 AM, Christopher Doty <> wrote:
> >> That sounds a little strange.  You shouldn't be "constructing" a
> >> grammar, as TKD already provides one.  Verbs, nouns, prefixes,
> >> suffixes, and chuvmey are all detailed.
> >
> > Unfortunately, computers can't read English; they need a human to act
> > as intermediary and interpret the grammatical rules into
> > computer-coded rules.
> I admit to being a little confused.

Perhaps it's because you're quoting Christopher throughout, but the
next sentences are addressed to me?

> Are you trying to implement
> machine translation *from* English *into* Klingon? That's quite an
> undertaking.

I'm the one who's doing the implementation.  It's from Klingon into
English, which is why I'm trying to make sure it has coverage of
everything I know to be a syntactic rule in Klingon.  Knowing, for
example, if focus can appear on more than one NP in a sentence
(outside a conjoined NP) isn't just trivia - it's something I neede to
make a design decision about, and if it's at all possible, I want to
make the decision that reflects what's known about the language.

It is a very large project even at this stage - I'm managing roughly
14000 lines of configuration files, including the base-form lexicon,
morphological rules, grammar, and transfer rules.

> No wonder you're bringing non-Klingon grammatical ideas
> into your arguments.
I'm not sure which of us is the "you" here, but if it's me: I have an
advanced degree in linguistics (of a different language, not English)
and a background in translation studies, and when I see something in
Klingon that makes me think "Some languages that do X do Y; Klingon
does X; does Klingon do Y or not?  TKD doesn't say" I'd like to know.

[I've trimmed some responses from you to Christopher about grammaticality]

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