LINGUIST List 2.745

Sat 02 Nov 1991

Misc: Klingon, Names and Old Theories

Editor for this issue: <>


  1. "Michael J. Hussmann", tlhIngan Hol Dajatlh'a'?
  2. , Klingon font
  3. Gilbert Harman, Lakoff, Mrs. Lakoff, R. Lakoff
  4. Brian Given, 2.731 Names and Titles
  5. Eric Schiller, Re: 2.739 Lexical Borrowing, Goats, Tones, Motion, Washing...

Message 1: tlhIngan Hol Dajatlh'a'?

Date: 1 Nov 91 15:33 +0100
From: "Michael J. Hussmann" <>
Subject: tlhIngan Hol Dajatlh'a'?
Re: language in StarTrekV
The Klingon language was created by Marc Okrand. The "official" (and, as far
as I know, the only) reference is:
Okrand, Marc: The Klingon Dictionary. English/Klingon, Klingon/English.
 Pocket Books, Simon & Schuster, New York 1985.
It's far more than a dictionary, though: it contains an introduction into
Klingon phonology, morphology, and syntax, with little bits of pragmatics
and sociolinguistic stuff thrown in. (And it's genuinly funny, for a
linguist anyway.) Okrand admits that the description of Klingon grammar is
sketchy, but assures us that "most Klingons will never know the difference."
There's also a collection of useful Klingon phrases, from "HIjol" ("Beam me
aboard") to "nuqDaq 'oH Qe' QaQ'e'" ("Where is a good restaurant?").
Ah yes, the subject line: it means "Do you speak Klingon?".
-- Michael Hussmann
PS: Klingon is OVS.
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Message 2: Klingon font

Date: Fri, 01 Nov 1991 17:06:29 PST
Subject: Klingon font
A Klingon font is available for the Macintosh by FTP from the Info-Mac
archives at Stanford. Address: cd info-mac, cd font; filename
klingon.hqx (18311 bytes). Enjoy!
Don W.
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Message 3: Lakoff, Mrs. Lakoff, R. Lakoff

Date: Fri, 1 Nov 91 22:05:52 EST
From: Gilbert Harman <ghhPrinceton.EDU>
Subject: Lakoff, Mrs. Lakoff, R. Lakoff
Georgia Green is not inclined to believe that Robin Lakoff
was indifferent to the way Householder referred to her in
his review. She also reports on how changed her own review
in Language of Lakoff's book was changed to refer to "Mrs.
It may be relevant to mention my own similar experience a
few year's later. In 1973 I published a review in Language,
referring in passing to Lakoff's review of Grammaire
generale and raisonnee. The editor changed my reference to
"R. Lakoff." Since that was the only reference to any
Lakoff in my review, I queried the change and was given the
same story that Green had been given a few years earlier:
avoiding confusion. I objected further on the same grounds
that Green mentions (e.g., there were references to just
plain "Lakoff," meaning G. Lakoff, elsewhere in the issue)
and asked for a correction notice. The editor (I do not
remember who) refused on the grounds that he had asked Robin
Lakoff if she objected to the changed reference and she did
not object, he said!
	Gil Harman
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Message 4: 2.731 Names and Titles

Date: Sat, 02 Nov 91 12:57 EST
From: Brian Given <>
Subject: 2.731 Names and Titles
 There are some very intersting cultural but also micro-cultural
differences here. I'm an anthro but not a linguist but have noticed
rather pronounced differences among universities and corporations
with regard to the etiquette of titles. My own student experience
what that undergraduates called professors either "Dr. Whatsit" or
"Professor Whatsit" until they reached fourth year where some
professors would identify themselves by their first names, indicating
a preference for that informality. In graduate school they myth of
equality mandated the use of first names only. As a prof. I have
taught at Dalhousie, Waterloo and Carleton U. My reading (and I'm sure
it is only one of many at each institution) was that at Dalhousie
students addressed you by title and it was up to the professor to
suggest the use of a first name if they wished - many did. At
Carleton my first year students often use my first name without begin
asked. I would not, at Carleton, introduce myself by title unless I
was attempting to identify myself vis-a-vis the bureacracy to an
officer or staff member - I think it would be seen as violating an
ethic of equality among faculty, staff and administration.
 I note, however, that many students from other cultures (e.g.
India) tell me that they are very uncomfortable calling my "Brian"
and would prefer "professor." One student from India recently
explained to me that he would not be able to call anyone "Dr."
but was very comfortable with "professor" - I think that Dr. was
seen as rather pompous but I'm not certain.
 Certain corporations (or at least their P.R. departments) take
great pains to find and use your first name. I recently had a
conversation with Compuserve P.R. folks in California (phone)
during which I (to clarify my role re. a new forum) introduced myself
as "Dr. Given of Carleton U." Somehow they got my first name from
my conversation or checked their records, and all officers addressed
me by my first name. At each stage in a TRANSFER...HOLD...TRANSFER
conversation I would introduce myself as DR. and they would come
back with "Brian." I think, in this case, that the use of a first
name is a strategy of dominance (they don't tell you THEIR first
names). Maybe they were countering what they thought was a strategy
of dominance on my part. Maybe it is simply a cultural difference.
 I note though, that my M.D. and her secretary absolutely refuse
to call me "doctor!" That is probably the only situation in which
I would prefer it since M.D.s intimidate me.
 I have run into gender differences in the use of titles at
universities. A couple of female colleagues have explained to me
that more women introduce themselves to students as "Dr." because
they feel more need to establish academic authority than they
beleive male faculty require. If so, I would assume that this
gender-based usage is transitory and will disappear as the gender
balance among faculty shifts closer to 50/50.
 Some interesting variance in usage of first/last names among
new Canadians. The Tibetan people I work with don't use "last"
names, but do have two (this wreaks havoc with immigration
requirements for family identification!) - this is further
complexified through anglicization. My (fictitious) friends
Norbu Samdup and Samphe Drugpa both become "Sam." This seems to
bother me much more than it does them!
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Message 5: Re: 2.739 Lexical Borrowing, Goats, Tones, Motion, Washing...

Date: Fri, 1 Nov 91 19:05:11 CST
From: Eric Schiller <>
Subject: Re: 2.739 Lexical Borrowing, Goats, Tones, Motion, Washing...
Mention of the CLS squib volume (1977) reminds me that this is a great
hunting ground for current theories. Old problems don't die, they just
go into hibernation until some linguist figures out what to do about them!
Eric Schiller
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