tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Mon Oct 19 07:36:03 2015

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

Steven Boozer (

> TKD (The Klingon dictionary) simply says that pIqaD "is not yet well
> understood".
>   [....] 
> In a thesis written by Yens Wahlgren ("Klingon as Linguistic Capital"),
> Marc Okrand commented pIqaD in this way:
> The mapping is very cleverly done... I think it is great, it makes it so
> you can write the language... I wish I could read it, when I get something
> written in {pIqaD} I'm able to very slowly figure it out... I am glad
> someone really is doing it and has decided that it is an alphabet and not
> a syllabary. Now we know, cause Michael Okuda and I didn't know that.

I have a couple more comments by Okrand in my notes:

st.klingon (10/1997):  I'd love to know more about {pIqaD} as well... the Klingon romanization system is a phonemic system, but what about {pIqaD}? How, exactly, does {pIqaD} work? I'm not sure. Mike Okuda (who puts the characters on various control panels and other displays for the various Star Trek series and movies) and I have discussed it. We're pretty sure it's not an alphabet (and it's therefore not phonemic in the way the romanized version is), but we don't know the details. Prodding of Maltz is definitely in order here. There is no problem with {pIqaD} being used for the various dialects, regardless of how it works, because it does not necessarily work the same way (or, better, the details are not necessarily the same) for all of the dialects. Since the system has been around for a long time (if Kahless was literate, he was literate in {pIqaD}), it could provide some insights into earlier stages of the language. The rules for mapping the old pronunciations represented by the pIqaD writing conventions onto the new pronunciations surely differ for the different dialects, but the rules--with varying degrees of complexity, to be sure--certainly work. I agree with SuStel. Once we know the details of {pIqaD}, I'm sure we'll find it a more interesting system than the romanization system we're all used to.

Seqram reported from a panel in Huntsville (9/1996):  "In fact, Marc Okrand has said publicly that part of the holdup is that he and Okuda can't quite agree on what {pIqaD} should be like... He hasn't decided if it's a syllabary or logograms or pasigraphy or who-knows-what, but it's not an alphabet like we've been using. (My personal excuse for our method then becomes: well, this is a simplified alphabetical system for offworlders and certain restricted environments that occasionally crop up, like the way Japanese is occasionally written entirely in *kana* in telegrams, even though that's not the right way to write it [and is hard to read for natives].)"

I'm sure others have talked to Okrand about this. 

Ca'Non Master of the Klingons

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