[tlhIngan Hol] Glue words, adjectives, "active" speech ..and the future

mayqel qunen'oS mihkoun at gmail.com
Mon Jun 22 07:20:54 PDT 2020

Something a beginner hears from the start, is how klingon is an
"active" language, a language which favors vivid live descriptions.
Which of course is true.. But unfortunately, when he/she asks "and how
is this achieved ?" the only argument he/she'll hear is "through the
use of verbs". But there's much more to klingon than the use of verbs
which causes it to be an "active" language.

Sometime ago, I'd written about the significance of the lack of an
"adverbializer", and how according to many, overusing adverbs results
in "telling" the listener, instead of actually describing vividly to
him what you're trying to say.

And recently I happened to read about something else which perhaps
explains why okrand didn't choose to allow, to just stick as easily as
we do in english, as many adjectives as we'd like on a noun.

Now, the following link becomes relevant:


Before moving on, I know that although we can't write in klingon "the
violent, expensive, ancient cat" as {vIghro' ral wagh tIQ}, we *can*
write {ralbogh 'ej waghbogh 'ej tIQbogh vIghro'}, or variations of
{ralbogh 'ej waghbogh vIghro' tIQ}, but I don't know how many people
would actually resort to doing something like this often in a regular
passage since it would create long and clunky constructions.

Now, another relevant matter with regards to characteristics in
klingon which make the language a direct and "action" one, is the
concept of glue words and the sticky sentences they create:


The fse "in/on" is the {-Daq} which is placed after the noun as a suffix.
The fse "for" is the {-vaD} which is placed after the noun as a suffix.
The fse "from" is the {-vo'} which is placed after the noun as a suffix.
The fse "if" is the {-chugh} which is placed after the verb as a suffix.

And because there's no point in analyzing each glue word, and in what
form it exists in klingon (and if it exists in the first place..), the
pattern becomes obvious:

Some glue words either don't exist, and most of the rest, are
expressed by suffixes. So the reader doesn't have to spread his
attention thin over kahless knows how many glue words, before reaching
the verb/noun of significance. First the reader reads the verb/noun,
and then comes the glue word equivalent suffix, making for a reading
experience of what is truly an action-oriented language..

Now, all the above prove that there are more under the hood of klingon
than just the classic overused argument of "because klingon relies on
verbs it is action oriented". And the more someone studies klingon,
the more he comes to admire the skill of 'oqranD, his true genius, and
his talent in creating such a language.

For this reason, when 'oqranD eventually retires, there's noone,
*noone* who can really take over. Whoever would accept such a role,
the only thing he/she/they would actually achieve, is demonstrating
his/her/their ineptitude when his/her/their work would unavoidably
compare to okrand's.

But luckily, when that day comes, each one of us will choose if he'll
blindly follow.

~ Qa'yIn

More information about the tlhIngan-Hol mailing list