[tlhIngan Hol] Klingon Word of the Day: loS

Steven Boozer sboozer at uchicago.edu
Fri Nov 1 08:24:46 PDT 2019

Klingon word: loS
Part of speech: noun
Definition: fourth tone of nonatonic musical scale

"nonatonic" : made up of nine tones (cf. http://wiki.qephom.de/En/NonatonicScale )

 (KGT 72-73):   Older Klingon music was based on a nonatonic scale--that is, one made up of nine tones. Each tone has a specific name, comparable to the "do, re, mi" system used in describing music on Earth. The nine tone names are (the first and ninth, as with Earth's do, being the same): {yu, bIm, 'egh, loS, vagh, jav, Soch, chorgh, yu}. While the first three (and ninth) of these words apparently are used only for singing the scale, the remaining five are also numerals: {loS}, four; {vagh}, five; {jav}, six; {Soch}, seven; {chorgh}, eight. It is possible that, at some time in the past, the numerals were "borrowed" into the lexicon of music in order to sing the scale but, for some reason, the first three (presumably {wa', cha', wej} [one, two, three]) were either changed or never used. It is far more likely, however, that the borrowing went in the other direction. As is well documented, the Klingon counting system was originally a ternary system (one based on three, with numbers higher than three formed from the words for one, two, and three). Later, owing to outside influences, it changed to a decimal system (based on ten). The independent words for the numbers three through nine were not originally a part of the Klingon counting system, but they had to come from somewhere. The musical scale is the likely source. The word for the fourth musical tone, {loS}, began to be used for the number four, and so on through the eighth tone, {chorgh}. (The origins of the words {Hut} [nine] and the suffix {-maH}, used in the words for ten, twenty, thirty, and so on, are obscure.)

(st.k 9/1997):  I'm not a musical theorist, but from what I can figure, the first {yu} and the next {yu} are not an octave apart; they are a nonave apart.

loS  		wait for (v)
loS  		four (num)

yutlhegh 	(musical) scale (n)
romta' 		octave (n) (qep'a' 2019)
Savvanwer 	nonave (n) (qep'a' 2019)

QoQ 		music (n)
wab  		sound,  noise (n) [use for "tone"?]

Ham  		be high (in pitch) (v) (qepHom 2018 
pun  		be low (in pitch) (v) (qepHom 2018

(Lieven, qepHom 2018):  as in high [or low] voice … These pitch words can also be used in music to talk about high and low tones.

Ca'Non Master of the Klingons

More information about the tlhIngan-Hol mailing list