Ladan v. Klingon

Please read through the file Some Background on Ladan, which condenses some quotes of Elgin’s. With that context in hand, you will be asked to examine the words in Ladan and Klingon and then write up a summary of your explorations.

Elgin claims in her discussion of the origin of Ladan that she sought to construct “a language designed specifically to provide a more adequate mechanism for expressing women’s perceptions” and that, in opposition, Klingon is “as ‘masculine’ as you could possibly get.”

In a response of approximately 250-700 words, please provide your best argument for Elgin’s claims. That is, regardless of your personal opinion, try to argue on behalf of Elgin.

For this assignment, you will consider how ‘masculine’ or ‘feminine’ are reflected in the word phonology (NOT meaning) in both languages.

To determine word phonology, browse two sources, the Ladan core words (, as well as the online Klingon dictionary ( (Links to an external site.)).

For each language, choose 5 words that in your opinion best express Elgin’s claims. That is, you are looking for 5 words that are especially ‘masculine-sounding’ in Klingon and 5 words in Ladan that are especially unlike ‘masculine sounding’ words.

Provide the 10 words you have selected, including their form in the original language, their translation into English, and their transcriptions in the IPA. (You can use (Links to an external site.) and (Links to an external site.) if you are stuck).

Then, in an essay of 250-700 words, discuss why you think these 10 words would best make Elgin’s argument that Klingon is especially “masculine sounding”, and Ladan is especially not. Part of your answer should make clear what you are assuming “masculine sounding” could mean to Elgin. Be sure to talk about each of the 10 words (it’s ok if some are discussed as a group).

In thinking this through, look at the forms of the words. Here the kinds of questions you could consider:
– how long are they (syllables)?
– are there onsets? codas? are they simple or complex?
– what phonemes reoccur?
– what sounds do words begin and end with?