[tlhIngan Hol] 'entepray''a'?

Daniel Dadap daniel at dadap.net
Sat Nov 17 05:03:45 PST 2018

> On Nov 17, 2018, at 01:29, De'vID <de.vid.jonpin at gmail.com> wrote:
>> On Sat, 17 Nov 2018 at 06:13, Daniel Dadap <daniel at dadap.net> wrote:
>> In Star Trek V, there’s a scene where tlha'a HoD says “'entepray''a'?” and it’s captioned in English as “Enterprise?” Surely, he wasn’t adding the type nine verb suffix “-'a'” to a noun, so what was he doing?
>> * Using the type one noun suffix “-'a'” to mean something like “The great Enterprise?”
>> * Referring to the “Enterprise-A” with registry number NCC-1701-A
>> * Momentarily forgetting proper grammar for a moment because he was so excited
>> * Using a dialect or slang where forming questions this way is allowed
>> * Adding the verb suffix “-'a'” to a noun, after all
>> * Some combination of some of the above possibilities
>> * Something else
> I think the description of the {qaghwI'} in TKD is referring to this:
> <The apostrophe indicates a sound which is frequently uttered, but not written, in English. It is a glottal stop, the slight catch in the throat between the two syllables of "uh-oh" or "unh-unh", meaning "no". When Klingon {'} comes at the end of a word, the vowel preceding the {'} is often repeated in a very soft whisper, as if an echo. Thus, Klingon {je'} "feed" almost sounds like {je'e}, where the articulation of the first {e} is abruptly cut off by the {'}, and the second {e} is a barely audible whisper.>
> Klaa is making an exclamation: "The Enterprise?!" {'entepray'a}

I might have been willing to believe that if it weren’t quite so enunciated. It really does sound like 'entepray''a'. Klaa’s pitch also rises slightly with the -'a', a prosody consistent with the use of the interrogative marker, whereas if that vowel were merely an artifact of the qaghwI' I would expect the pitch to remain flat, in addition to becoming quieter (which it also doesn’t do).

I checked the canon archive on klingonska.org and found this:


That transcript records the utterance as “'entepray''a'?”:


It says “The Klingon material added is both from the "Notes from ~Star Trek V: The Final Frontier~" article in {HolQeD} 8:4, and David Yonge-Mallo's transcript of ST5.”

I don’t have the text of that HolQeD handy, but I trust it’s accurate, and I don’t know who this “David” fellow is (perhaps you know him?), but I trust he knows what he’s talking about.

> And by the way, his parents were so excited when he was born that this echo is even found in his name: {tlha'a}!
> -- 
> De'vID
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