Re: Klingon

From: Mark E. Shoulson (
Date: Thu Jan 15 2004 - 13:26:16 EST

  • Next message: "Re: Klingon"

    On 01/15/04 12:27, Philippe Verdy wrote:

    >From: <>
    >>Michael Everson scripsit:
    >>>At 14:53 +0100 2004-01-15, Chris Jacobs wrote:
    >>>yIjachQo'. vItlhob.
    >>Demonstrating once again that the One True Script for Klingon is Latin.
    We went through this already... And even I was starting to be
    convinced. But it may not be for long; writing in "pIqaD" has its
    supporters (and opponents) among Klingonists, and it may start seeing
    more use (already you can read our all-Klingon journal online in pIqaD
    if you want, and if you have Code2000 installed, which has the PUA
    assignments right).

    >If you're not convinced, look at this page:
    >which writes:
    I wrote it.

    >Note that there are no punctuation characters in this character set. It may
    >be that Klingon doesn't use punctuation, although a few of Okrand's
    >sentences do. Since Okrand doesn't use the Okuda orthography, and neither
    >does Okuda, for that matter (except just randomly selecting glyphs), if we
    >accept it as "real" Klingon pIqaD we don't really know anything about how
    >it's written. The convention has developed that it's written horizontally,
    >from left to right, like English, and usually each sentence is given its own
    >line and centered (some follow this convention when writing the romanized
    >orthography as well).
    >And shows an actual alphabet with only approximative Latin mappings:
    >a, b, ch, D, e, gh, H, I, j, l, m, n, ng, o, P, q, Q, r, S, t, tlh, u, v, w,
    >y, '
    >(the 10 digits are mapped more precisely from 0 to 9 but with a distinct
    >ordering convention).
    The "approximative Latin mappings" are the normal convention used for
    writing Klingon (some would even say the "official" writing system,
    since that is how it is used and written by Marc Okrand). Much like
    there are conventions for writing Sanskrit or Ugaritic using Latin
    letters (plus diacritics) that are pretty much universally understood
    (at least by scholars).

    >Now look at how you would write "ngh": "n" + "gh" or "ng" + "H" ?
    >Look at the distinction between "q" and "Q"...
    >There's NO case mapping in the actual Klingon script.
    "ngh" can only be "n" + "gh", since "h" does not occur (alone) in
    Klingon. "H" does. But case-mapping, as you say, is not part of
    Klingon script; uppercase and lowercase letters are considered distinct
    symbols. "q" and "Q" are different letters and different sounds. The
    letters D, I, H, S, and Q are always written capitalized. I don't know
    whether or not this makes it fundamentally different from Latin alphabets.

    >Another alphabet shows these approximate Latin mappings of the original
    >Mandel system:
    >K, L, I, NG, O, N, F, B, D, G, A, M, X, TH, H, V, J, E, S, Y, W, P, OO, T,
    >R, U, Z
    This alphabet and mapping predates the invention of the Klingon Language
    (I think) and at any rate makes no attempt to map to the phoneme-stock
    of tlhIngan Hol.

    >See that there's no case in this alphabet (only one letter form). If you
    >encode it with Latin and create words with it, then how will you read "oo":
    >as Klingon "O" + "O" or as Klingon "OO". Same thing for "th" and "ng"...
    >If you use the Latin approximation to write words, you need to keep the
    >separation between actual Klingon letters, and one way to do it is to make
    >some use of the (otherwise unused) Latin letter case. But this is purely a
    >coding convention with no linguistic meaning. It just helps restoring the
    >letter separation. However case mapping is an implied property of the Latin
    >script which breaks the Klingon script. So the Klingon script is not
    I can't speak to the Mandel system, but there is an unambiguous mapping
    back and forth from Latin transcription (written properly) and Okuda
    symbols. That how I can have
    for the Latin version of the December 2003 edition of Qo'noS QonoS, and
    for the PUA pIqaD version, generated dynamically. (does take some
    tricks to sort out quoted English words and such...)


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