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

SuStel sustel at trimboli.name
Wed Dec 18 13:39:56 PST 2019

On 12/18/2019 4:17 PM, qurgh lungqIj wrote:
> On Wed, Dec 18, 2019 at 4:06 PM SuStel <sustel at trimboli.name 
> <mailto:sustel at trimboli.name>> wrote:
>     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.
> Right, and I want to use ITS cultural and linguistic biases, not the 
> ones I've been raised with in my language and culture. This is my 
> personal choice.

And I'm telling you you don't KNOW Klingon's cultural and linguistic 
biases because you're not a Klingon. We only know what we're told, and 
we haven't been told this.

> We do know that ngagh can refer to what "people" do, since we have 
> {targhlIj yIngagh! yIruch!}. That's a clear example of one "person" 
> telling another "person" to do an act with an "animal".

And it's an insult. It's probably an insult because it lowers the person 
spoken to to the level of an animal. It's not evidence at all that 
*ngagh* is what people do, because you're linguistically transforming 
your target into an animal. We have other Klingon insults that do the 
same thing, like *Ha'DIbaH.* In other words, you're treating the target 
like a not-person.

It's like using the non-language-using suffixes on a noun to refer to a 
language-using being. *HoDlIj* is insulting to the *HoD,* probably 
because you're implying the *HoD* is not capable of using language. Even 
though you know perfectly well that the *HoD* is quite capable of using 
language. You can't use *HoDlIj* in normal conversation, even if it's 
perfectly understandable.

Likewise, *targhlIj yIngagh* may be lowering the target to the level of 
a targ. This sentence proves nothing about whether people can normally 
*ngagh.* All we know is that in that kind of insult, they can. But our 
knowledge is completely limited to that domain.

> To me, that usage seems to match with how we use the f-word, and is 
> what led me to speculate that {ngagh} is what one thing does to 
> another thing, regardless of if that thing would be classified as a 
> "person" or an "animal".

It only matches one sense of the f-word, and only loosely. The f-word 
has plenty of other meanings that, in the right context, are perfectly 
acceptable and don't match. In Klingon, *ngagh* appears to be usable by 
people in order to insult them, possibly by lowering them to the level 
of an animal, but can it be used outside of that sense? That's been the 
question all along. Can *ngagh* be used the same was as *nga'chuq* 
apparently can? We don't have evidence. We have lots of opinions, but no 

>     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.
> I did, because it's totally off-topic and has nothing to do with the 
> Klingon language. I have no interest in helping you locate information 
> about English that you can locate yourself.

There is another special-use word in English. Literally, it just refers 
to the dung of a male bovine. In this case it is an expression of 
disbelief that you are actually capable of backing up your statement.


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