[tlhIngan Hol] expressing goddess

De'vID de.vid.jonpin at gmail.com
Tue Apr 13 07:33:38 PDT 2021

On Tue, 13 Apr 2021 at 15:17, SuStel <sustel at trimboli.name> wrote:

> I do not take Okrand's use of "emperor" for *voDleH* and *ta'* to
> necessarily mean that these words only refer to men. Sexism is often
> unconscious and culturally driven, and I would find it perfectly plausible
> to hear that Okrand simply hadn't considered women when he gave us
> *voDleH,* and that the word is gender-neutral. On the other hand, if it
> does only refer to men, then the sexism is in leaving the female version
> out of the dictionary.
In TKD, {joH} (and also {jaw}) are defined only as "lord". In KGT, it is
explained (p.40) that {joH} can also mean "lady" (as a title). I think Dr.
Okrand was primarily motivated by necessity here: when TKD was written, the
title {joH} was applied only to Kruge. By the time KGT was written, we saw
various upper-class Klingons referred to as "lord" so-and-so as well as
"lady" so-and-so, and thus the definition was expanded. The sexism in the
vocabulary, if it's there, was accidental.

Similarly, we have only heard about Klingon emperors on the TV shows and
movies. (Are there any screen canon Klingon empresses? Maybe we missed an
opportunity with L'Rell.) Undoubtedly, were a Star Trek writer to mention a
Klingon empress on the show, Dr. Okrand would reveal that {voDleH}/{ta'}
could also mean "empress", or alternatively reveal the correct Klingon term
for this title. Until then, we don't know that {voDleH}/{ta'} is
gender-neutral like {joH}, although, given the absence of other gendered
nouns and titles in the vocabulary, this seems likely.

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