tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Thu Nov 07 07:17:14 2013

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Re: [Tlhingan-hol] Klingon Word of the Day: Soch

Steven Boozer (

> Klingon Word of the Day for Thursday, November 07, 2013
> Klingon word: Soch
> Part of speech: noun
> Definition: seventh tone of nonatonic musical scale
> Source: KGT

KGT 72f.:  Older Klingon music was based on a nonatonic scale--that is, one made up of nine tones. Each tone has a specific name, comparable to the "do, re, mi" system used in describing music on Earth. The nine tone names are (the first and ninth, as with Earth's "do," being the same): {yu, bIm, 'egh, loS, vagh, jav, Soch, chorgh, yu}. While the first three (and ninth) of these words apparently are used only for singing the scale, the remaining five are also numerals: {loS}, "four"; {vagh}, "five"; {jav}, "six"; {Soch}, "seven"; {chorgh}, "eight." It is possible that, at some time in the past, the numerals were "borrowed" into the lexicon of music in order to sing the scale but, for some reason, the first three (presumably {wa', cha', wej} ["one, two, three"]) were either changed or never used. It is far more likely, however, that the borrowing went in the other direction. As is well documented, the Klingon counting system was originally a ternary system (one based on three, with numbers higher than three formed from the words for "one," "two," and "three"). Later, owing to outside influences, it changed to a decimal system (based on ten). The independent words for the numbers three through nine were not originally a part of the Klingon counting system, but they had to come from somewhere. The musical scale is the likely source. The word for the fourth musical tone, {loS}, began to be used for the number four, and so on through the eighth tone, {chorgh}. (The origins of the words {Hut} ["nine"] and the suffix {-maH}, used in the words for "ten," "twenty," "thirty," and so on, are obscure.)

Ca'Non Master of the Klingons

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