tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Fri Dec 17 06:02:46 1993

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Okrand on glottal stops

>From: Will Martin <>
>Date: Thu, 16 Dec 93 18:52:20 EST

>On Dec 15,  6:27pm, wrote:
>> I offer this from PK:
>> Okrand, The Master: "Remember to pause ever so slightly _TWICE_ in the
>> middle of the word for "Rokeg bloodpie".
>>         It's {ro'qegh 'Iwchab}, not *{roqeghIwchab}."
>> Guido#1, Leader of All Guidos

>Now wait a minute. "...middle of THE WORD ... {ro'qegh 'Iwchab}." What's
>wrong with this picture?

>Is he saying the word is {ro'qegh'Iwchab}? If that's true, then this is
>not an example of a word beginning with a glottal stop. If it is {ro'qegh
>'Iwchab} in TWO words, then this is not THE WORD for Rokeg blood pie. They
>are THE WORDS for rokeg blood pie, and I would have naturally paused BETWEEN
>the words because to do otherwise is to run words together, which is sloppy
>in almost ANY language. Except German.

I took Okrand's comment to mean that it *was* a compound word,
{ro'qegh'Iwchab}, insofar as that matters.  In any case, your question was
not about glottal stops at the beginnings of words, but glottal stops at
the beginnings of words *in isolation* (i.e. with nothing in front of them
that they could be run into).

However, I disagree with your statement about running words together.  If
you listen to *any* English speaker, not excluding yourself, you'll find
that most words, when spoken, really are run together.  There are some
pauses that grammar or stress puts in (e.g. your example {bangchu'} vs
{bang chu'} below, in my mouth, would probably be stressed differently
[iamb vs. spondee], thus giving a sort of pause where you expect it, since
spondees are hard to run together), but many, many words have no pauses
between them.  Listen to yourself reading aloud the sentence I wrote: "I
disagree with your statement..."  Is there really a pause between any of
those words?  All pairs?  Not when I read it casually.  Let me find a
sentence from the tape so at least I know what you'll hear.  Oh, let's go
to PK, the first English phrase spoken (by Dorn): "The scene you have just
heard..."  I didn't really hear any pauses there.  Well, maybe one or two,
but there were many words that in a sense were run together.  Listen to it

OK, it doesn't have any bearing on things, but it's a common misconception
that people should beware of.  If you actually paused after every word, it
would sound really strange.


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