tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Thu Jun 25 02:01:39 2009

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Re: Klingon orthography (was: Okrand at qep'a')

Michael Everson (everson@evertype.com)



On 25 Jun 2009, at 00:46, Mark J. Reed wrote:

> First, I find the use of English-style capitalization quite  
> distracting.  I'm used to reading {q} and {Q} as separate letters, so
> have trouble recognizing {Qastahvis}.

I suspect then that you

> I agree that there's room for improvement in the system, but I don't  
> necessarily agree that it's worth a reform effort.

Nevertheless I'm pleased you're putting up with me and discussing it.

> Nevertheless, my thoughts follow.
>
>> ===
>> In IPA this is
>>
>> [a b tÊ É É É x É dÊ l m n Å o pÊ q qÏ r Ê tÊ tÉ u v w j  
>> Ê]
>
> Though we would normally not transcribe things so narrowly as to  
> indicate the aspiration on the voiceless stops, as indeed you didn't
> in your passage...

Overlooked it actually.

>> =A casing orthography would give:
>
> Cased IPA: Just Say No. :)

:-)

>> ===
>> In Americanist-type transcription one might render these:
>>
>> a b Ä d e Ç h i j l m n Å o p q x r Å t Å w v w y Ê
>
> I think that both [Å] for {tlh}  and [x] for {Q} are  
> counterintuitive;
> you need some indication of the affrication.   And my natural
> inclination is to Ç as [dÊ] instead of [É].

Well, Q is just a stop; it doesn't give an indication of affrication.  
In a number of transliteration alphabets Ç is [É], though Ä is found  
for instance, and other things; in this case one of the motivations  
was to use the same diacritic throughout. As with all orthographies,  
one gets used to it. (I'm not arguing for or against this one in  
particular.) Happy with Å?

>> a b c d e g h i j l m n Å o p q ê r s t Å u v w y â
>
> Yeah, the ê comes through as an empty box here.

As expected.

>> a b c á e Ç h i Ç l m n á o p k Ï r á Î tl u v w y â
>
> If using <c> with no diacritic for {ch}, why do you need a diacritic
> for your {D} replacement?

This is Noble Savage's proposed orthography, not mine. I just reported  
it.

>> a b c d e g h i j l m n á o p k Ï r s t tl u v w y â
>
> Better. :)
>
> If replacing {q} with <k>, why not use <q> for {Q}?

It is a bit strange, isn't it?

> I could see Î for {tlh} - misleading though it is - but not for {t}.
> The "aspirated t" meaning of Î is not exactly au courant. :)

I think Noble Savage may have misunderstood about [tÊ].

> Also, the dot over the n is too subtle in this font; barely  
> distinguishable from plain n.

You might be right about that in terms of a high-frequency phoneme  
like {ng}

> My monographical suggestion would be this:
>
> a b c d e g h i j l m n à o p k q r s t à u v w y â
>
> Only two non-ASCII characters, both in Latin-1 and readily typed on  
> most systems' "international" keyboard.  They even have uppercase
> forms if you insist upon using case distinctions.

That's 10.3.4 in my PDF.

> Or, if you're not averse to digraphs:
>
> a b ch d e gh kh i j l m n ng o p q qh r s t th u v w y '

You've done a nice job there, replacing H with kh so as to avoid word- 
boundary crashes with -h-. You've left S as s though... not sh. SO  
you've got here either

Qastakhvis khoch dis, loslogh kholqhed chenmokh thingan khol yejkhad;  
deâmaj qengwiâ pothquâ âokh. Ghithmey leâ, ghithmey moth je  
ngas khoch jabbiâid, âej thingan kholqhed, thingan khol, thingan  
nugh je qel. Qechmeyâeâ ngasbogh nungbogh jabbiâid nudmekh âej  
ghokhmekh nargh je ladwiâpuâ jabbiâidkhommey; mavuvchuqmekh âej  
majaâchuqchuâmekh nargh. Kholqhed niv lawâ, qhonos moth niv pus:  
khadchuâmekh qhonos âokh kholqhedâeâ. âOkhdaq narghpaâ  
ghith, âokh nudchuâ lath, âej ghith ghithwiâ sovbeâ. Kholqhed  
jikh ÂYejquv PaqghomÂ, âej âokh bos je ÂDakh Khol YejkhadÂ.

or

Qashtakhvish khoch dish, loshlogh kholqhed chenmokh thingan khol  
yejkhad; deâmaj qengwiâ pothquâ âokh. Ghithmey leâ, ghithmey  
moth je ngash khoch jabbiâid, âej thingan kholqhed, thingan khol,  
thingan nugh je qel. Qechmeyâeâ ngashbogh nungbogh jabbiâid  
nudmekh âej ghokhmekh nargh je ladwiâpuâ jabbiâidkhommey;  
mavuvchuqmekh âej majaâchuqchuâmekh nargh. Kholqhed niv lawâ,  
qhonosh moth niv push: khadchuâmekh qhonosh âokh kholqhedâeâ.  
âOkhdaq narghpaâ ghith, âokh nudchuâ lath, âej ghith  
ghithwiâ shovbeâ. Kholqhed jikh ÂYejquv PaqghomÂ, âej âokh  
bosh je ÂDakh Khol YejkhadÂ.

Michael Everson * http://www.evertype.com/







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