tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Thu Nov 12 13:43:56 2009

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RE: Yet another newbie!

Steven Boozer (

buSwI' ( wrote:
>> One thing in particular that puzzles me is how {Duy'a'} and {Duy''a'}
>> differ in sound, that is, how to say {''}.

>Formally, a doubled glottal stop should be lengthened; that is, the {''}
>takes a little longer to say than just {'}. However, most Klingons tend
>to shorten doubled glottal stops, so most Klingons would pronounce
>{Duy''a'} like {Duy'a'} anyway. Pronouncing the lengthened {''} is still
>acceptable, and considered more formally correct. (See KLINGON FOR THE
>When I speak, I pronounce the lengthened {''}.

Since buSwI' is unlikely to have KGT (KLINGON FOR THE GALACTIC TRAVELLER) yet, here's the relevant paragraph (pp. 138-139):

     The differences in pronunciation between younger and older Klingons
  are rather subtle. As a result, the characteristic patterns of younger
  people's speech, if noticed and commented upon, are more likely to be
  judged "sloppy" or "careless" rather than "wrong." First of all, some
  younger speakers tend to pronounce doubled consonants as if they were
  single, while older speakers pretty much maintain the distinction
  between single and doubled consonants. For example, in the word {qettaH}
  ("He/she keeps on running"; {qet}, "run, jog," plus {-taH}, "continuous"),
  an older Klingon would either pronounce each {t} distinctly, releasing
  the first one with a puff of air before articulating the second, or else
  he or she would hold the {t} just a bit before releasing it, so that the
  time taken up would be about the same as if each {t} were articulated
  separately. A younger speaker, on the other hand, may pronounce the word
  as if it were {qetaH}, though with the stress remaining on the first
  syllable as it is in {qettaH}. Similarly, an older speaker would probably
  maintain the {mm} in {bommey} ("songs"; {bom}, "song," plus {-mey}, plural
  indicator) by either pronouncing each {m} distinctly or, more likely in
  this case, prolonging the {m}; some younger speakers (though a smaller
  number than in the case of {tt}) might say {bomey}, again with stress
  remaining on the first syllable. Only in the case of {''} (as in {pa''a'}
  ["big room"]: {pa'}, "room," plus {-'a'}, an augmentative) is there a
  tendency in both groups to reduce the {''} to a single {'}, though {''}
  (a somewhat prolonged gap between the preceding and following {a}) is
  hardly unknown or archaic-sounding. The reduction of doubled consonants
  to single follows a clear pattern. Those most likely to be reduced are
  {pp}, {tt}, [???], and, as noted above, {''}; least likely to be reduced
  are {ll}, {mm}, {nn}, {ngng}, {vv}, {ww}, and {yy}.

[The {???} represents a lacuna in my notes which I'll have to correct.]

>> Also, I wonder about using locative in a noun phrase, as in {bIQDaq
>> veng}, my attempt at translating "the city on the water" (yes, I know
>> a true Klingon would not associate his city with water...). Is that ok?
>No, that's not right. TKD 3.4 says that only the last noun in a
>noun-noun construction may take a Type 5 suffix.

See TKD p. 50:  

  If a Type 5 noun suffix is used (section 3.3.5), it follows the
  verb, which, when used to modify the noun in this way, can have
  no other suffix except the rover {-qu'} "emphatic". The Type 5
  noun suffix follows {-qu'} ... 
    veng tInDaq     in the big city
    veng tInqu'Daq  in the very big city

Canon Master of the Klingons

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