tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Tue Nov 24 19:03:06 2009

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Re: pu'jIn

Christopher Doty (

> That's an interesting proposal, but I'd venture that long strings of
> nouns are difficult for us to parse mostly because none of us is a
> native speaker of Klingon.  The cognitive load on my brain when
> speaking Klingon is definitely a bit higher in general than when I'm
> speaking English.  Simplicity is easier to handle than complexity,
> and small numbers of things are easier than large numbers of things.
> I don't think a difficulty with phrases consisting of many nouns in a
> row is due to any more than that.

Yeah, that's basically what I meant.  It just seems harder to parse
these kinds of things for English speakers.  I imagine a Finn would
have no trouble with it...

> It was probably ten or twelve years ago when a few of us tried to
> quantify our mental "stack size" for parsing nested relative
> clauses.  In English, six or seven levels was not a big problem.  In
> Klingon, we started getting lost around four or five.  I wish I had
> documented it at the time.  Maybe we should repeat the experiment the
> next time a group of us gets together; it would probably make a good
> research project.

It would be interesting to compare it with other language-learners,
too.  This four- or five- thing could be an effect of a second
language, or it could be because Klingon word order is OVS, and might
be generally harder for people to process...

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