tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Fri Jun 26 05:26:12 2009

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Re: Klingon IPA chart

ghunchu'wI' (

On Jun 26, 2009, at 6:07 AM, Michael Everson wrote:

>> And it's not a "slang" variant, it's a lazy and  incorrect one. :)
> Laziness and incorrectness betoken "slang". I could say "informal".

Please don't.  That too would imply it was acceptable in the right  
context.  However, KGT is quite clear on the {qUlegh} thing in  
particular:  it is "an error worthy of correction."  That paragraph  
is simultaneously descriptive and prescriptive.  Some people do it,  
and it's wrong.  If you must label this variation as something other  
than "incorrect", I suggest you call it "sloppy", a word Okrand used  
on the previous page.

>> If you wish to represent childish speech, you should include the
>> voiced variant of {j},
> You mean "the fricative {zh} variant of {j}".

I actually had meant to type "the voiced 'sh' variant".  I wanted to  
use the appropriate IPA symbol, but I couldn't manage to copy it from  
the {j} cell of your chart.  It seems I ended up forgetting the 'sh',  
but the meaning appears to have gotten through.

>  you missed out
> "the alveolar {n} variant of syllable-final {Å}" and "the affricate
> {ch} variant of syllable-final {tlh}".

[n] and [tÊ] are already accounted for.  Note that I also "missed  
out" things like [b] and [l], because your chart already includes  
them, thus there was no need to suggest that they be added.

> I think on reflection that there's only one way to know whether the
> distrubution if {ghl} is syllable-initial or initial/medial would be
> to know whether {chatlhoy} 'soupkin' (KGT p. 201) would be realized in
> Morskan as {chatsoy} or {chaghloy}. Okrand describes the distribution
> of {ghl} and {ts} in terms of morpheme boundaries,...

On the contrary, he describes them in terms of *syllable* boundaries.

>> KGT page 22 says that the variation depends on whether the sound is
>> at the beginning or end of a syllable, not of a word.
> See above.

No, see KGT page 22.  Really.  He even uses the word "phonological".

>> You've ignored the untrilled "r" in the consonant cluster {rgh} at
>> the end of some syllables.  I mention it because your chart notes
>> seem to be striving for completeness of description.
> Can you point me to Okrand's description of this? I couldn't find it.

It's not described, but it is attested.  For example, _Power Klingon_  
includes the phrase {Hoch vor Dargh wIb} "Sour tea cures  
everything."  There's enough background noise that I can't really  
tell whether the {r} in {vor} is realized as [r] or [É], but it's  
definitely [É] in {Dargh}.  (I think I'm using the symbols properly,  
but don't assume I have any great certainty about them.)

> By the way, Okrand transcribes the voiceless [w] as {Hw} which would
> be [xw]; I have transcribed it as [Ê] because that is what I have
> heard in actual use.

Where is this {Hw} mentioned?

-- ghunchu'wI'

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