tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Mon Nov 23 10:33:13 2009

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Re: The topic marker -'e'

Christopher Doty (

> I admit to being a little confused. Are you trying to implement
> machine translation *from* English *into* Klingon? That's quite an
> undertaking. No wonder you're bringing non-Klingon grammatical ideas
> into your arguments.

Google machine translation and corpus linguistics.

> I am still uncomfortable with the idea of "constructing" a grammar,
> though that might just be an artifact of unfamiliar jargon. I would
> have expected "transcribing" or "implementing" to be a better term.
>> Non-grammatical, by its very definition, means not valid.
> No, it just means it doesn't follow the rules. Breaking rules is
> explicitly permitted by "meta-rules" that are, by definition, outside
> the grammar. Do you have a copy of _Klingon for the Galactic
> Traveler_? You'll want to read it fully before making further
> pronouncements on the validity of Klingon grammar.
> Perhaps this is another mismatch in linguistic definitions. I think
> "ungrammatical" means "does not follow the rules of grammar". Many
> sentences have a single obvious intended meaning even while breaking
> the rules, and some of them even make perfect sense while doing so.
> (There is another term I use for sentences which are unintelligible
> due to not following the rules: gibberish.)

This has nothing to do with Klingon as such.  The concept of
"ungrammatical" means that it is not valid.  If there is something
that is valid but not proper, it is still grammatical.  I think this
is a terminology issue for you; most ungrammatical sentences end up
looking like gibberish.

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