Philip Newton (pne) wrote,
Philip Newton

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“Stutter words” in Klingon

It’s well known that there are a number of homonyms in Klingon: words which are spelled and pronounced the same but mean different things; for example, jIH could be a pronoun “I, me”, a verb “to monitor”, or a noun “viewing screen, display”. There are also similarities between stand-alone words and affixes, such as vetlh “cockroach” and -vetlh “that”.

This lets us make “stutter words”: words with two identical syllables. One of them will be the main word and the other will be the affix.

I believe the following is a complete list of such “stutter words” in Klingon:

  • ba'ba' “he obviously sits”
  • bejbej “be certainly watches”
  • boghbogh “which is being born; which was born; which is born; which will be born”
  • chajchaj “their (close, female) friends (of females)”
  • choHchoH “it begins to alter, change”
  • chu'chu' “he activates, engages (a device) perfectly; he plays (an instrument) perfectly; it is perfectly new”
  • DaDa “you behave like it; you act in the manner of it”
  • DaqDaq “in/at/on the place”
  • ?Du'Du' “the farms (that are body parts)” (probably only possible in poetry)
  • HomHom “a minor bone”
  • law'law' “they are apparently many”
  • lI'lI' “he is in the process of transmitting data (to a place)”; possibly also ?“it is in the process of being useful”
  • ?lulu “they fall (suffer loss of status) it” (an exceptional case, along the lines of “sleep the sleep of the just” or “live a Klingon life”, though I don’t know of a cognate object for lu that could be used to make a grammatical sentence involving lulu)
  • mo'mo' “because of the cage; because of the motive/motivation/grounds/reason/rationale (slang)”
  • moHmoH “he makes him ugly”; possibly also “he1 causes him2 to exert undue influence on him3”, depending on whether transitive verbs can take -moH or not.
  • nISnIS “he needs to disrupt it, he needs to interfere with it”
  • ?pu'pu' “the phasers (which are capable of speech)” (probably only in poetry, or maybe fairy tales)
  • qangqang “he is willing to pour; he is ready to always agree with him (slang)”
  • qoqqoq “the so-called robot”
  • qu'qu' “it is very fierce”
  • ruprup “he is prepared to fine or tax him”
  • ta'ta' “he has (successfully) accomplished it”
  • taHtaH “he continues to survive; he continues to endure; it continues to be at a negative angle”
  • vetlhvetlh “that cockroach”
  • ?'e''e' “that (previous sentence) (with emphasis or focus)” (not sure about this one, but if personal pronounce can take -'e', and focussed nouns can be fronted if they are marked with -'e', why not the special pronoun 'e'? Perhaps something like 'e''e' neHbe' vavwI'That’s not what my father wanted” or “As for that: my father didn’t want it”.)

Now try to create a short story that involves all of those words :)

To start you off, here’s a sentence consisting only of stutter words: DaqDaq law'law' boghbogh qoqqoq qu'qu' “In the place, there are apparently many very fierce so-called robots which are being born”. Can you make a sentence containing only stutter words that has more than five of them? (I suppose one could wedge in a couple more using the noun-noun construction, e.g. qoqqoq HomHom vetlhvetlh qu'qu' “those very fierce so-called-robot-minor-bone-cockroaches”, but the meaning would be extremely strained.)

Tags: klingon
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