[tlhIngan Hol] can we apply {ngagh} to humans ?

SuStel sustel at trimboli.name
Wed Dec 18 13:06:08 PST 2019

On 12/18/2019 3:45 PM, qurgh lungqIj wrote:
> I'd rather not frame it either way. I'd rather use the words to 
> describe actions regardless of what my cultural or linguistic biases 
> might try to dictate about those actions.

Klingon is not a technical or programming language; it does not express 
objective truths beyond cultural or linguistic biases. It has those 
biases built in on purpose, and many of the words Okrand gives us come 
with some kind of cultural or linguistic note on their usage.

There are things you can say in language that you're not /supposed/ to 
say. You can say "We am thy freighter, Urva," and get your point across, 
but you've said it wrong. You've chosen the wrong verb form, used an 
archaic pronoun, and chosen the wrong determiner. It's understandable, 
but it's not right. You can't always choose a synonym when that synonym 
isn't used the same way, even if it refers to the same action.

Well, if we suppose for a moment that *nga'chuq* is used for people (or 
language-users, or whatever) and *ngagh* is used for animals (or 
non-language-users, or whatever), then saying *luqara ngagh qeylIS* is 
wrong. It's understandable, but it's the wrong verb.

mayqel's question is are *ngagh* and *nga'chuq* split like that, is 
there some other difference, or is there no difference at all?

The answer is we don't know. The English glosses aren't enough to 
determine this. The reason he probably thinks this might be the split is 
because in English /mate/ is something animals do, while /have sex/ is 
something people do, and this is how the glosses were given to us. 
Whether the Klingon usages of the words matches the English usages of 
those phrases, we don't know. Star Trek makes this determination even 
murkier, since aliens are often said to /mate/ with each other, while 
Terrans are not.

> I gave my opinion on the difference between the two words, but you 
> ignored that part.

You gave your speculation, for which you seem to agree we have no 
evidence. I didn't see any reason to comment on that. For your part, you 
ignored my request to provide an example of how someone in the 
mainstream would use the word /mate/ to refer to people having sex.


-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.kli.org/pipermail/tlhingan-hol-kli.org/attachments/20191218/68295358/attachment-0004.htm>

More information about the tlhIngan-Hol mailing list