[tlhIngan Hol] hard truths about the future
fergusq at protonmail.com
Tue Dec 21 10:04:19 PST 2021
> While Maltz-is-living-in-Okrand's-basement is a cute joke, we don't really
> *need* the fiction of Maltz. If a new Star Trek movie or show came out with
> new Klingon words, and the person who worked on it told us what they meant,
> what does it matter whether or not they said that the information came
> through Maltz? Okrand himself hasn't consistently used the Maltz backstory
> when revealing new information.
I think that the fiction of Maltz is rather important. No living language would have all speakers agreeing to what is correct and what is not. If we want to maintain the fiction that Klingon is a living language with multiple native speakers, we must agree on which of those speakers decide the rules of the language.
Okrand could have said that he repeats rules that a Klingon Language Authority on Kronos has published, or what Klingon/Federation scientists have decided (sometimes he actually does refer to Federation linguists, but most of time not). Instead, he took the approach of having one single individual whose language we study.
I like this approach. When Maltz says that some phrases sound bad, or are inappropriate, etc., they are opinions of that individual. Not some recommendations of a Klingon language committee on Kronos or hypotheses of linguists. They are real opinions of a "real" individual, Maltz, using a living language.
> It will depend, rather, on how believably the
> fictional reality of Klingon can be maintained in its new context. If
> Okrand just says, "Maltz has decided to move to Joe's basement, so Joe
> gets to report new Klingon words now" or some such statement, I would
> find that ham-handed at best.
Now, if we think about the future of Klingon, I wouldn't want Maltz to move to someone else's basement. Instead, I would like the new develper of Klingon to have their own source of information, be it another captured Klingon, a contact on Kronos or a corpus of Klingon texts intercepted from subspace communication. That way, if the new developer says something that contradicts Okrand, we can maintain the fiction that both Okrand and the new developer are right: their captured Klingons just disagree on how the language works. Maybe Maltz thinks that something is inappropriate, but the new Klingon thinks it's cool. Maybe Maltz doesn't know a word for a thing, but the new Klingon has happened to hear such a word. And so on.
> If authority is granted to a committee to
> invent new Klingon words, that would be even worse, since I can imagine
> no good way in which a committee of human beings could be connected with
> reporting actual Klingon from the fictional universe. I would actually
> find it more satisfying to learn that our window into the secondary
> world has closed, leaving our canon of Klingon frozen at the current
> state, because that would be most believable. But it would be disappointing.
If we had a committee, it wouldn't be Okrand's Klingon anymore, so it would be disappointing. No new Klingon at all would be disappointing.
I have seen so many fights over what is good Klingon that I don't know anyone I could trust with the power to decide everything. So it'd have to be a committee. I see no satisfying solution.
What I least want is Paramount/CBS to take over. I don't want those people to have anything more to do with Klingon. They didn't use Klingon when they made good television series, and now that they know Klingon they make bad television series. After their Axanar lawsuit, I'd like to keep the language as far from them as possible.
Iikka "fergusq" Hauhio
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