Appearances of Klingon: on television - in movies - in the news - in commercials - in politics - in literature - Translations


The Klingon language is an interesting topic for linguistic and sociological studies. Over the years, several people have written a dissertation or a paper about the language, focussing on different aspects.

2019: Tara Wyse

Dissertation poster (not final version)
2019, May 16: Tara Wyse wrote an undergraduate dissertation at the University of Sussex about the topic "To What Extent is the Constructed Language Klingon Similar to Natural Languages: an Investigation into Nominal and Verbal Morphology." To achieve this, she contacted several Klingon speakers and students and anonymously mentions them in her dissertation. She received a first class grade for this investigation (the top classification in UK universities)

This is her own summary for her disseration:
Okrand has made conflicting statements regarding whether Klingon is assembled from features of natural language. The goal of this investigation is to determine if Klingon is similar to natural languages by looking at nominal and verbal morphology from a typological perspective. I also consider whether Klingon is more similar to English, Mutsun, or a selection of typological samples. I consider the features: position of the affix, fusion, reduplication, exponence, flexivity, and synthesis.

I conclude that Klingon is similar to natural languages, and of the languages considered, Klingon is most similar to English."

2017: Die klingonische Phonologie und ihre lautliche Realisierung

Rebecca Palm wrote a bachelor's thesis in German on Klingon's phonology. The paper's subtitle is: "Analyze zweier Klingonisch-Sprecher." As a part of this project, Palm conducted a survey of the Klingon-speaking community and collected data regarding frequency of language use, study methods, etc.

download Download this article. download Download the survey of Klingon speakers.

2017: Unnatural Stress Patterns

In 2017, Joseph W. Windsor and Robyn Stewart co-authored "Can Unnatural Stress Patterns Be Learned: New Evidence from Klingon." The article uses recordings of seven advanced Klingon speakers created at qep'a' cha'maH cha'DIch.

download Download  this article.

2015: Heidelberg Survey

In 2015, a student of the University of Heidelberg in Germany, Juan Llull Morey, carried out a study of Klingon. He set up a survey, which was answered by 12 people.

2010: Karolina Kazimierczak

Karolina Agata Kazimierczak is a researcher in the Institute of Applied Health Sciences at the University of Aberdeen, Scotland. She wrote two papers:

"Adapting Shakespeare for Star Trek and Star Trek for Shakespeare: The Klingon Hamlet and the Spaces of Translation" This was published as a journal article in "Studies in Popular Culture", Vol. 32, No. 2 (Spring 2010), pp. 35-55
The Klingon translations give evidence of how the popular culture, with its re-enactments or reinterpretations of the official or high culture texts and practices, helps to uncover the mechanisms of cultural and linguistic alienation and re-appropriation, while posing the boldest challenges to its audience's ability to suspend disbelief.

Her work was quoted by Deborah Cartmell and Peter J. Smith in their book about "Much Ado about Nothing: A Critical Reader", Bloomsbury.

Read online

"Linguistic Fandom: Performing Liminal Identities in the Spaces of Transgression"pdf Download PDF (3)

To write this second paper, she attended qepHom Saarbrücken in 2010.

2010: André Müller

2010, André Müller: "Künstliche Sprachen im Rahmen einer computergestützten lexikostatistischen Untersuchung"

2004: Yens Wahlgren

One of the most notable dissertations about Klingon was Yens Wahlgren's bachelor thesis of spring semester 2004, entitled "Klingon As Linguistic Capital" To write his thesis, he visited the qep'a' and the qepHom in 2004 where he talked to the Klingonists.

The purpose of his thesis was to research how the speakers have experienced the development of the Klingon language during its 20 years of existence. Wahlgren also examined the informants' opinion towards Star Trek fandom. The method used is qualitative; He has interviewed Marc Okrand and Lawrence M. Schoen. In addition, he did some Internet interview with 17 advanced Klingonists.

2004, Yens Wahlgren: "Klingon As Linguistic Capital" — pdf Download PDF

New words

For his thesis, Yens Wahlgren had constructed several terms for academic writing, which were then vetted by Marc Okrand. Wahlgren had sent his list to the KLI for the new words list, but for some unknown reason, those terms did not appear in the new words list. He then forgot about those words, but remembered in 2020 and sent them to the Wiki admin for addition to this page, guessing that they could be a help if someone needs structure for writing an academic essay or thesis. The following are the words as approved by Marc Okrand, in an email to Yens Wahlgren of April 26, 2004. Only one of them (nughQeD) is really a new word. It was forwarded to the KLI list on January 18, 2005.

Klingon Usage canon definition
nughQeD Sociology sociology
potlhmey Abstract consequental things
bI'reS Introduction beginning (of speech etc.)
qun Background history
nger Theory theory
mIwmey Method steps
ta' Result deed, accomplishment
bertlham Conclusion end (of speech etc.)
jo Resources resources
paq tetlh Biblioghrapy book list

2003: Neil Olsen

In 2003, Neil Olsen of Salt Lake City, Utah, wrote a paper about constructed languages which includes a large part about the Klingon language with some interesting statistics.

pdf Download PDF (4)

1999: Judith Hermans

In 1999, Judith Hendriks-Hermans from the Netherlands made a sociolinguistic profile on Klingon speakers in her Masters thesis: "Klingon and its Users: A sociolinguistic profile". Her Paper is so interesting that the writer of From Elvish to Klingon was inspired to ask her to write a part of it.

The average Klingon user in my survey is a Caucasian male, about 31,5 years old, living in a city somewhere in the United States. [...] He speaks English as his first language and has a high education."

Read online  
pdf Download PDF (5)


Publication permissions

All the papers are copyrighted by their authors, unless marked differently. We tried to get permissions where possible, but some could not be reached. We wish that if somebody finds their paper here, they contact us and give us a short message for permission.

1 : uploaded here with permission of Tara Wyse

2 : uploaded here with permission of Tara Wyse, with a note that the poster is not part of the final verseion

3 : licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License

4 : author could not be contacted to get a permission

5 : uploaded here with permission of Judith Hendriks-Hermans

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