tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Sun Dec 26 09:49:19 1999

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Re: Stress in Klingon

"William H. Martin" wrote:
> > >   jems tIy qIrq       James T. Kirk

> > Doesn't this violate some rules of Klingon phonology?  From
> > looking at the other names I'd have expected <jemIs> and <qIrqa'>
> > (or something like that).
> This is not a Klingon name. It is a Klingon transliteration of
> an English name. We similarly pronounce foreign names with
> sounds that violate English phonology. Bwana.

I based my comment on MO's transliterations of some other 
English names, namely:

barbara' ma'rIch        Barbara March
ghuwI'nItlh wa'lIS      Gwynyth Walsh
rabe'rIt 'o'raylIy      Robert O'Reilly

It seems to me that when English is transliterated into Klingon,
syllables involving multiple consonants are broken up.  Thus,
<rabe'rIt> rather than, say, <rabert>, and <ma'rIch> not <march>,
<wa'lIS> not <walS> etc.  So it looks like <jems> should be <jemIS>.
Of course, "James T. Kirk" was probably one of the first names
transliterated by MO, so he might have changed his mind/elaborated
more on phonology since then.  

(And also, even when names get translitered into a language they 
are not always done consistently, e.g. "Yeung" and "Yang" are 
the same Chinese name transliterated into English.  So maybe
different Klingons transliterate different ways.  Especially
perhaps those who are more familiar with Federation Standard are
more likely to use <jemS> which is closer to the original.)


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