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Robin Turner wrote:
 
> As I think I mentioned in an earlier posting, Klingon is an interesting case of
> a conlang becoming an IAL by accident; when Mark Oran designed the language he
> had no idea that people from different countries would be huddled in corners at
> Star Trek conventions speaking Klingon to each other!   Although Klingon is
> rather limited functionally (no word for "goodbye", and the closest to "hello"
> is "wgat do you want?") it does actually work reasonably well as a language
> (rather than just a linguistic toy).
 
Yes, indeed, I've felt more than once the "wierdness' of Klingon is rather
exaggerated.
I'm not a practising Klingonist, but I snapped up a copy of the first Klingon
dictionary published in the mid 80's (I bought it I believe in 1986) and I thought
it was overall a rather amusing little book.
In short, except for the vocabulary (phaser, Romulan etc.) if it had been presented
to me as a real language I wouldn't have thought any different. (there's one or two
slightly suspicious elements, noteably some reversed particles) but nothing as weird
as things routinely proposed in conlangas (or some IAL's). I would have in fact
guessed it was an Amerindian language I happened to be unfamiliar with (I would have
been clueless as to cultural area, maybe Pacific Northwest, US Southwest) I remember
reading something that suggested to me that Mr. Orkand used Penutian (Californian,
now extinct or very close to it) grammar as a basic model. It's certainly what I
would do if _I_ were asked to create a language for money. Why go through the bother
of working out syntax and morphology of you can use a little-known guide. (And it's
what I do in my own -purely recreational- conlang, based on a generalized Eastern
Muskoghean model - with lots of Western Muskoghean vocab. though).
 
My only gripe with Klingon is (are you ready) that dumb spelling system. There was a
tradition (which I despise) in West Coast Linguistics to use lower and upper case
letters to represent different sounds in phonemic transcription, but I think it's
dumb (and as ugly as a mud fence). I figured out it would be easy to make it easier
by using diagraphs and it changes it very little. (if I remember correctly, I
thought 'kh' for H and 'qh' for Q and 'lh' for 'tlh' Lhingan instead of TlhIngan'
would work out, but that was a long time ago)
 
Amikel,
MikeFarris