[tlhIngan Hol] Okrand about peD

nIqolay Q niqolay0 at gmail.com
Mon Nov 20 13:39:01 PST 2017

On Mon, Nov 20, 2017 at 3:22 PM, Lieven <levinius at gmx.de> wrote:

> MO: Yes. And that's one way to protect the three letters words. Cause
> they're an endangered species. You told me.

Maybe not quite an endangered species, perhaps closer to a vulnerable

How many one-syllable words are there left in Klingon? (This isn't quite
the same as three-letter words, since a syllable can also have two or four
letters, but I already did the math for one-syllable words.)

There are 21 consonants to start a syllable, 5 vowels for the middle of a
syllable, and 25 ways to end a syllable (one of the 21 consonants, {rgh},
{w}', {y'}, or no consonant). That gives 21 * 5 * 25 = 2625.

Then remember that {ow, ow', uw, uw'} aren't allowed to end syllables, so
subtract 84 potential words. (21 ways to start, times 4 "forbidden"
combinations of vowel and ending.) 2625 - 84 = 2541.

Then subtract the three words Okrand has said he won't use: {pIS, SIt,
Qov}, so that's 2538. (There's probably other words Okrand will end up
avoiding, but AFAIK he hasn't said so explicitly.)

(It's also possible that {Iw'} and {Iy'} can't end syllables, because
they've never been used, but Okrand's not yet excluded them specifically.
If they are also forbidden, rather than simply being very uncommon, then
the number of potential words drops to 2496, which changes the numbers a

Thanks to the boQwI' source code (already updated with the latest new
entries) and a short Python script, I found that 1572 one-syllable words
are already used. This leaves 2538 - 1572 = 966 one-syllable words left.
This is 38% of the potential one-syllable words remaining. (If {Iw'} and
{Iy'} are forbidden syllable endings too, then the numbers become 924 words
(37%) remaining.)

We've still got a ways to go before we run out, I think.
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