[tlhIngan Hol] Two negations

Felix Malmenbeck felixm at kth.se
Mon Jan 1 08:07:04 PST 2018

> Why should I follow the english way of
> expressing the above

When there's little or no canon to go by, I'm right there with you, and think we should be careful about doing things the English way, which we may often to subconsciously because it's a language we all share and the one that most Klingon language materials are written in.
I often test my preconceptions by expressing something in both Swedish and English, and seeing if the sentences break down the same way. If they do, that seems to me to be a good indicator that treating one way more correct than the other is highly arbitrary. If they do ... well, then there's *still* cause to be suspicious, because Klingon and English come from two different planets whereas Swedish and English are basically just regional dialects of Old Norse that borrowed different sets of words from French. If things break down similarly in several more distantly related languages, such as English, Greek, Chinese, Ojibwe, Nahuatl, Kikongo and Warlpiri, that might indicate that it's just a very reasonable way of doing things ... but given that language evolution is a chaotic process, we still can't say for sure without evidence.

However, in this case I would say you should because there is plenty of precedent for the single-negation way in Klingom, but none that I can think of for double negation. We don't have explicit evidence suggesting that it's *wrong* (that I can think of), but if it isn't, then it is conspicuous by its absence.


From: tlhIngan-Hol <tlhingan-hol-bounces at lists.kli.org> on behalf of mayqel qunenoS <mihkoun at gmail.com>
Sent: Monday, January 1, 2018 1:46:02 PM
To: tlhingan-hol at kli.org
Subject: [tlhIngan Hol] Two negations

I just realized something..

In english you say "I didn't do anything"
In greek we say "I didn't do nothing"
In english you say "I don't know anything"
In greek we say "I don't know nothing"
In english you say "I don't go anywhere"
In greek we say "I don't go nowhere"

I'm certain that you, being native english speakers, find the above greek phrases strange/wrong.

On the other hand, I, being greek, find the english phrases strange/wrong.


The question is, why should I -in klingon-, write {vay' vIqaSmoHbe'} instead of {pagh vIqaSmoHbe'} ? Why should I write {vay' vISovbe'} instead of {pagh vISovbe'} ? Why {vogh vIjaHbe'} instead of {pagh Daq vIjaHbe'} ?

Why should I follow the english way of expressing the above, instead of the greek ?

~ nI'ghma

More information about the tlhIngan-Hol mailing list