tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Mon Feb 25 19:52:44 2002

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Re: Do Klingons whisper?

jatlh Voragh:

>I'll let the experienced speakers deal with the mechanics, but the answer
>is surely yes.  After all, there's the verb {tlhup} "whisper" in TKD
><g>.  (You may not have been able to find it as it's listed in the
>Klingon-to-English side only.)

An experienced speaker I am surely not, but IMO it would be easier to 
whisper Klingon and be understood that it would in English, assuming, of 
course, that one has a good grasp of the lexicon. :) Klingon has only three 
minimal pairs contrasted by voicing (p/b, H/gh, ch/j) compared with 
English's seven (p/b, t/d, k/g, sh/zh, ch/j, s/z, th/dh (as in thin vs 
this)). Klingon's phonetic irregularity could surely work to a speaker's 
advantage as far as whispering goes.

In fact, I have done rudimentary work on finding out whether the theorised 
proto-Klingon may have actually had no contrastive voicing at all, similar 
to modern Inupiaq or Cree. However, I didn't get very far, since my 
linguistic skills are basic at best. :)

Qapla' 'ej Satlho'


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