tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Mon Nov 23 12:32:19 2009

Back to archive top level

To this year's listing

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next]

Re: The topic marker -'e'

ghunchu'wI' 'utlh (

On Mon, Nov 23, 2009 at 1:40 PM, Christopher Doty <> wrote:
>> Your linguistic knowledge is leading you astray in this case. You're
>> bringing in concepts from outside Klingon grammar, based on a use of
>> terms in TKD that are intended for people who don't already "know"
>> what they mean. This is a recipe for much confusion.
> This is a joke, right?  You realize that Okrand has a PhD in
> linguistics, I hope.

Dr. Okrand is a linguist. He wrote TKD for people who are not.

He explains his terms adequately (or nearly so) within the confines of
the book, without requiring people to have outside knowledge of
certain concepts. Later clarifications also were made without
reference to specialized jargon. The two big places where I notice
this are in the type 7 "aspect" verb suffixes and the description of
"clauses". He also ended up mixing some concepts that don't strictly
belong together, as the language changed to satisfy certain decisions
made by the filmmakers, so even if he had been careful to write in
pure linguist lingo at first, it wouldn't have been that
straightforward by the end of the process.

> As a linguist reading TKD, it is VERY clear what
> Okrand means when he uses these terms, and in what he is trying to
> describe:...

I again warn you not to read into the terms what you believe he meant,
and instead to read what he says they mean. Whenever people with
significant knowledge of linguistics come to the Klingon language, the
usual result is that they either over- or mis-analyze certain features
until they stop trying to apply what they "know" about languages. The
two notable exceptions I can think of are both people who learned
Klingon as a language to be spoken rather than as one to dissect.

-- ghunchu'wI'

Back to archive top level