tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Tue Feb 05 18:02:19 2002

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Re: Alphabet

This reminds me of an Interstellar Language School publication which stated
that Klingon [a] sounded like [oh] in John... It took me ages to figure out
why such a glaring mistake had been made... Then I twigged, there was no
mistake at least not from the authors perspective as some people do
pronounce [John] like [Jarn].. Not quite sure how to describe how I say
Jon/John and couldn't find an IPA font with the symbol I needed so I'll
leave it there.

Jon Brown
----- Original Message -----
From: <>
To: <>
Sent: Tuesday, February 05, 2002 8:13 PM
Subject: Re: Alphabet

> > >peHrus:
> > >>>I have not checked your math, either.  Have you deducted the
> > >>>that
> > >>>just won't work?  For example, 'ow', 'uw and 'Iy' are "impossible."
> > >
> > >Sangqar:
> > >>>Actually, I didn't take those into account, but are you sure that
{ow} is
> > >>>not valid?  I mean, is there an Okrandian source?  Finnish has that
> > >>>particular diphthong, although it is admittedly hard for beginners to
> > >>>distinguish from a long o.  Since Klingon doesn't have a long o, it
> > >>>that paricular difficulty wouldn't exist.
> > >
> > >According to TKD, on the top of page 17, no Klingon words have {ow} or
> > >{uw}, since they would sound the same as {o} and {u}. However, I'm not
> > >aware of any prohibition on the sound {'Iy'}. peHruS, was there some
> > >that you included {'Iy'} here (other than the fact that no words that
> > >know use that sound)?
> >
> > Interesting.  ow and o are phonetically distinct, although not
> > distinct in some languages; that is, the exact sound, or phone, is
> > different, whereas the range of sounds accepted by the ear/brain as
> > the same sound, or phoneme, is often the same.  As I previously
> > in Finnish they are distinct phonemes, in English (and apparently in
> > Klingon) they are not.
> >
> > As an example for those unfamiliar with the phone/phoneme distinction,
> > words 'cot' and 'caught' sound to different to most people from the east
> > coast (of the US), whereas in other parts of the country they sound the
> > same.  Even though someone from the east coast would pronounce these
> > differently, and anyone from the east coast would hear the difference,
> > people from other parts of the country would hear it as the same sound,
> > because in thier own dialect they pronounce it as the same sound.  Of
> > course, if you're intently listening for the difference, you can usually
> > pick it up, even if you can't reproduce it yourself.  (Sorry for the
> > anglocentrism here; I don't know of any examples in any other
> I've run into an interesting variation on this concept with my fiancee.
> originally from Philadelphia, while I'm a native Virginian. She's
> that I actually pronounce "where" and "wear" differently. She thinks it is
> charming that I jet a puff of air when I say "where", but I don't when I
> say "wear", and yet she cannot bring herself to do the same.
> She lives her life with context alone telling her the difference between
> and "w". This is similar to the Klingon regional differences between {m}
> {b} or between {n} and {D} as described in KGT (I think) and to a lesser
> in TKD.
> I also remember my philosophy professor who grew up in Georgia swearing
> there was no difference between "pen" and "pin". Even when pairs of
> would show him that we could pronounce the two words distinctly enough
that we
> could tell the difference, he declared that we were conspiring to pretend
to be
> able to tell the difference when really they were just the same word. He
> not hear the difference.
> I tried to explain to him that "pen" was a sound between "pin" and "pan",
> when I said "pin, pen, pan", he heard "pin, pin, pan".
> > >- taD
> >
> > -Sangqar
> charghwI'

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