[tlhIngan Hol] mu' chu' (pab chu' je) chabal tetlh: filling the gaps (concept)

Michael Kúnin netzakh at yahoo.com
Mon Mar 20 18:40:09 PDT 2017

An hour or so ago, qurgh started the {chabal tetlh} thread for the upcoming qep'a' on Facebook. As FB is not very suitable for long and/or elaborate messages, I decided to summarise my idea here.
1. {mu' chu'}
The raw idea is: take the list of 5000 most frequently used English words and see which of them are *really* missing in our knowledge of Klingon.
1.1. Certainly, the first 200 or so are expressed by affixes and other grammar structures, and if any of them are *really* missing, this would belong to {pab chu'}.
1.2. By "*really* missing" I mean that there is no adequate translation (e.g., {'IHchoHmoH} for "suit (verb)", which appears in a sentence in TKD, is adequate, but something back-translated as "propel oneself in water" before {Qal} was revealed is NOT adequate---IMHO).
1.3. Another important aspect is whether we can reasonably expect that a Klingon word exists. Thus, I would exclude "Terran" words where the {banan naH} approach can be used. For example, if I need to say "oak", I would use {"oak" Sor} (there does not have to be a {Qo'noS} plant similar to the oak anyway).
2. {pab chu'}
For grammar, I would suggest to take a good English grammar for advanced learners (of English as foreign language), and identify which grammatical structures are missing in our knowledge of Klingon.
It is clear that some (or even many) structures do not have exact correspondences ("The ship in which I fled" is a famous example).
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