[tlhIngan Hol] Morskan and the unidentified “regional dialect” in PK

Daniel Dadap daniel at dadap.net
Tue May 14 07:51:22 PDT 2019

> On May 14, 2019, at 01:02, De'vID <de.vid.jonpin at gmail.com> wrote:
> Maybe there's more than one Morskan dialect? It's like saying "British English". Which one?

That’s a good point. Perhaps the description in KGT applies to “common Morskan” or whatever dialect is spoken in Morska’s political or cultural capital. Or it is a synthesis or summary of the most common and distinguishing features of the Morskan family of regional dialects.

This is complete speculation, but my own guess is that the “regional dialect” in PK was based on Dr. Okrand’s personal notes from when he developed Morskan for ST VI. With the exception of the apparent dropping of syllable-final {qaghwI'} none of the other apparent features of the PK dialect which don’t appear in the ST VI scene would have had an opportunity to be presented in that scene. Then a few years later when it came time to commit a description of Morskan to print in KGT, he backpedaled on a few of the changes or lost or forgot about his notes. In particular, if dropping syllable-final {qaghwI'} was intended to be a feature, it would have caused confusion between several common verbal suffixes like {-moH}, {-mo'}, {ta'}, and {-taH}, so it would have made sense to backpedal on that.

> Also, and this is the answer to a different question than you asked, but {tlhatlh} "gladst" is never explicitly labeled a Morskan word in KGT, and yet must be in a closely-related dialect. It would be pronounced {ghlats} in Morskan, which is close enough to "gladst".

I’ve had the same thought. I think you’ve said that before, too, so I’m not sure whether I had the thought independently or because of you. I have also thought it quite likely that this particular phonetic change is also the reason they’re called “Klingons”, if other spacefaring races first made contact with Klingons living in the outskirts of the empire.

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