tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Thu Feb 28 08:25:32 2002

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Re: Klingon phonotaxis

jatlh Will:

>Some of the earliest words (the ones James Doohan created before Okrand 
>with the language) have open syllables. And don't forget the exceptional 
>{-oy}, which always follows a consonant or adds an intervening glottal 

qatlho'. After reading KGT, I always wondered what would happen if someone 
wanted to say *<<bangwI' SoH, rooy>> "I love you, my little torso". :P

jatlh Sean:

 > I think the simplest explanation of the latter is that at a rather
 > earlier stage of the language, all syllables were CVC; but some
 > syllables ended in a phoneme that was (later) deleted. Past experience
 > with the Earth languages suggests that the phoneme that was most likely
 > lost was an interdental fricative: /th/ or /dh/ (as in bath or bathe). I
 > speculate therefore that <je>, <'a>, <ro>, <gho>, <da>, <DI>, and
 > <qIvon> were regular CVC syllables: *<jeth>, *<'ath>, *<roth>, *<ghoth>,
 > *<dath>, *<DIth>, and *<qIthvon>. (Or possibly with *-dh instead of
 > the *-th).

I'd go further, and speculate that ONLY one of the two interdentals would 
have been possible, going by Klingon's natural dislike of minimal pairs. :)

Your theory has raised an interesting point: <<'a>> could have diverged from 
<<'ach>> before the loss of the interdental. Try saying *<<'ath>> and 
<<'ach>>, and see how little difference there is.

Of course, this is just speculation; I've tried doing work with <<no' Hol>> 
lexicon and phonetics before, and haven't gotten too far. However, I have 
managed to collect a decent list of canon <<no' Hol>>, which a couple of 
people expressed interest in, and which I will send at my next opportunity. 
Most of it is from KGT, and all I have done is collect it in one place; but 
I think there are one or two things in there not from KGT.

Qapla' 'ej Satlho'


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