tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Fri Jun 26 05:46:58 2009

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Re: Klingon IPA chart

Michael Everson (

On 26 Jun 2009, at 13:25, ghunchu'wI' wrote:

> 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.

See the PDF.

>> 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.

Yes, but not in a description of children's speech; if some should be  
discussed, all of it should be.

> 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.

Please have a look at the revised PDF. Have I now missed out on  

>> 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.

Yes, he says "syllable". The syllable is the basic morpheme in  
Klingon, is it not?

>>> 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".

He describes what happens at the beginning and end of syllables.  
That's still not an explanation of the distribution, which would have  
its origin in the phonological environments. I noticed that the  
environments are different, in that at the beginning of a syllable  
with or without a prefix you have (CV)ghl- and and at the end of a  
syllable with or without a suffix you have -ts(CV) -- except with the  
suffix -oy. So my question to Okrand is: Is there a difference between  
-tlh(CV) and -tlh(oy) such that one might be -ts(CV) and the other  
might -- because of the intervocalic position of -tlh- be -ghl(oy)?

> 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.)

You are using the symbols correctly. And I put it in my chart. Though  
since in TKD he specifies that the American r [É] is not used, it  
might be worthwhile asking him about the variation [rÉ] -> [ÉÉ]

>> 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?

TKD p. 16:
w Usually as in English worrywart or cow. On rare occasions,  
especially if the speaker is being rather deliberate, it is pronounced  
strongly, more like Hw or even Huw."

Michael Everson *

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