Capable of language

Beings capable of language (only one time referred to as "capable of speech" in TKD) are those which are able to speak a language(1). Examples are Klingons, Humans, Romulans, etc. This does also include babies, because even if they do not speak, they are capable of using language(2).

This distinction is important in the use of possessive suffixes and plural suffixes.

Not considered as capable of speech are:
  • Parrots, as they only imitate sound, they do not speak. (3)
  • Robots and computers, they are not living beings. (4) (5)
  • Groups of people capable of language, like mut (species), qorDu' (family), tuq (house) because these do not speak, only their members do. Although there is canon that shows that at least qorDu' and tuq can take the capable of language suffixes (6).

Whether Lt. Cmdr. Data, an android from TNG, is considered a being or a thing remains a philosophical question which was discussed in the TNG episode "The Measure of a Man". Most Klingonists agree that he is an exception which IS capable of language, although he actually still is a robot.

Okrand has also suggested that it is up to the individual speaker to decide which type of suffix should be used in each individual case. So one speaker could use the capable of speech suffixes when talking about a specific thing, while another speaker might not. The choice of suffix used tells the listeners what the speaker believes about the thing.

See also


1 : The Klingon Dictionary

2 : "A child which has not yet developed language would still get -wI'" Email by Roger Cheesbro of 28 May 1998, archived on Klingonska Akademien

3 , 4 : "matlh jupna' mu'mey", HolQeD 10:4, p. 4–5

5 : "They must be a "being", which rules out things like computers." Email by Roger Cheesbro of 28 May 1998, archived on Klingonska Akademien

6 : paq'batlh, paq'yav Canto 3 and 12

Category: Grammar    Latest edit: 02 Jan 2017, by KlingonTeacher    Created: 06 Apr 2015 by RejutkaLupex
History: r9 < r8 < r7 < r6 - View wiki text

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