[tlhIngan Hol] On Klingon colours: Is the Klingon vision bichromatic?

Rhona Fenwick qeslagh at hotmail.com
Sun Sep 1 22:45:02 PDT 2019


ghItlhpu' SuStel, jatlh:
> How a language divides up its color words has little to do with whether
> they can visually perceive those colors. There are real human languages
> that have the same number of color words as Klingons, but speakers of
> these languages don't lack our color vision. It's canonically speculated
> that Klingons can't see all of purple that we do, but otherwise their
> vision seems to be similar to ours.

To be fair, we don't actually know this canonically. All we know is that the Klingon visual range extends from (at least) what we call red, to somewhere in what we call blue. How many types of retinal chromatic pigments they have to signal those colours is completely unknown.

(poD vay')

taH:
> When a Klingon points at a yellow plant and says SuD, then points at
> the green sky and says SuD, it's not that they appear to be the same color
> to him.

Again, I don't think we can fairly say that with any confidence. We just don't know one way or the other. I suspect there may be circumstantial evidence suggesting that Klingons may only have two retinal pigments, making them functional dichromats, but whether that's the case depends on how systematic the use of the SuD-Doq and the Hurgh-wov axes is in selecting a spot in the colour space (or, if they're dichromats, on the colour surface). I pondered this on Facebook a little while ago - here's a link to the comment thread if anyone's interested: https://bit.ly/2jUGn0q - but of course my pondering also remains speculative without further clarification from Maltz.

QeS 'utlh
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