tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Mon Nov 30 10:42:14 2009

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Re: Double negatives

Christopher Doty (

On Mon, Nov 30, 2009 at 06:29, ghunchu'wI' 'utlh <> wrote:
> Klingon does not employ "negative concord" the way some languages do.

Whence does this conclusion come?

> Double negatives in Klingon appear to act the way they do in Standard
> English, with one negating the other and yielding an affirmative
> meaning.

This doesn't happen in Standard English, and it is stupid to say so.
Language is not math, and two negatives do not make a positive, and
saying so borders on various kinds of "-ists."

There is, further, reason to believe that we might see differences in
English in Klingon: in English, "not" negates an entire clause; in
Klingon, <-be'> negates only what immediately precedes it.  So, in
Klingon, a clause with a negative <-be'> and, say, a <not>, don't
really have two negatives with the same scope.

I'm not saying this is okay in Klingon, just that it might be.  And
that two negatives equal a positive is stupid.

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