[tlhIngan Hol] is {jIb} countable ?

Steven Boozer sboozer at uchicago.edu
Tue Jun 25 07:12:54 PDT 2019

My feeling is that {jIb} “hair on head” is a mass noun.  For a single hair I would use {SIrgh} “string, thread, filament” – {jIb SIrgh} on the model of {baS SIrgh} “wire” (qepHom 2016).  See KGT:

(KGT 76):  Each string is a {SIrgh}, a word also used for any thread or filament. A {SIrgh} of the finest quality is made from a material secreted by insects, similar to the silk produced by silkworms.

What I know about {tlhIngan jIb}:

(qurgh, 7/28/2017 < qep’a’ 2017):  I asked [Okrand] about {jIb}, {pob}, {loch} and {rol} after there was a conversation about it in the Learn Klingon Facebook group. {jIb} is only hair on the top of your head, {loch} is the hair on your upper lip, {rol} is the hair on your face that covers you chin/neck area, and {pob} is hair from the neck down. Arm hair is {DeS pob}. The words cover both the hair and the entire construction, so {rol} refers to a beard as well as the hair that makes up the beard. However, ear hair or nose hair is talked about using {pob}, and {pob} *can* be used to talk about face hair or head hair but it would be considered very strange to do so.

  DaH jIbwIj vISay'nISmoH
  I must wash my hair now. PK

  jIbDaj lumeQmoH qul bIQtIq qulHommey
  Sparks from the fire river caught his hair PB

  'ej bejtaHvIS baS moj jIb
  his hair … turned to steel before his eyes PB

  jIb Ho'Du'          comb (n) TNK

  jIb yachwI'        hairbrush (n) TNK

Mr. Setti (Mott's fellow Bolian barber on the Enterprise-D) noted admiringly that Klingon hair is quite thick and luxuriant, although he suggested Worf start using a conditioning agent as his hair had become dry. (TNG "Schisms")

(KGT 58-9):  According to Klingon tradition, the first bat'leth was forged by Kahless the Unforgettable, the founder of the Klingon Empire, from a lock of his hair dipped in molten lava.

(STC:KLS):  The first was forged by Kahless from a lock of his own hair which he placed in the lava from the Kri'stak volcano. He then plunged the burning lock into the lake of Lursor, twisted it into a blade and killed the evil tyrant Molor with it.

Ca'Non Master of the Klingons

From: mayqel qunen'oS

Can I say {wa' jIb}, {cha' jIb}, etc, or does {jIb} mean "all the hairs of the head" ?

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