tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Thu Nov 12 21:07:17 2009

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Re: Yet another newbie!

Tracy Canfield (

Building on what Voragh quoted:

>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}.

So we have three approaches - if you want to sound like these lazy
young people nowadays, wearing pajamas to class and wasting their time
playing Guitar Hero when they could be dueling, you can just pronounce
the double consonants like single ones.  If on the other hand you do
not, you have two choices - releasing both consonants or just holding
them twice as long.

I don't know of any human language that does the first - I'm not
saying there isn't one, just that I can't think of one.  A *lot* of
human languages do the second, some very extensively (like Arabic,
Italian*, or Japanese) and some much less.  (In English the usual
example is the two k's in "bookkeeper" - and not all English speakers
double that consonant.)  So this is one of those cases where speakers
of certain languages can transfer some of their existing knowledge to
Klingon pronunciation.

It sounds as though Swedish might not have a doubling rule that can
easily be built on for these purposes, since it's the type of rule
that doesn't operate consciously.

* I once heard THE MOST AWESOME Italian recording which constrasted
single and double "n" with "Non ho nonno.  Egli é morto."  (vavnI'
vIghajbe'.  Heghpu'.)  "Non ho" and "nonno" sound identical except for
the doubling of the second n.

2009/11/12 Zrajm C Akfohg <>:
> On Wed, Nov 11, 2009 at 02:33, Tracy Canfield <> wrote:
>> A quick question about Swedish, because it might get you a better answer
>> about Klingon:
>> Would you say these two Swedish words are pronounced differently?
>> Specifically the s sound?
>> lössen
>> lösen
> In Swedish all syllables strive to take up the same amount of time to
> say, so whenever a short vowel (as in "lössen" above) is followed by a
> single consonant sound, that consonant becomes longer in duration
> compared same syllable with a long vowel.
> However, as kids here in Sweden we are usually taught that a double
> consonant means that the preceding vowel is shortened--and no one ever
> mentions the lengthening of the consonant (which is something a native
> speaker just does instinctively, and never thinks of) most people
> don't know (or think) about it. The change in the vowel sound is what
> dominates.
> I didn't notice the the lengthening of the consonant until one or
> another of my teachers pointed it out, when I studied grammar, or
> phonetics at university level (and I'm a native speaker of Swedish).
> The Finnish language have a much systematic approach to this. In
> Finnish a doubled consonant means a lengthened consonant, and a
> doubled vowel means a lengthened vowel. To us Swedes, however, that
> way of spelling looks mightily peculiar. (But then Swedish and
> Finnish, despite being talked in neighboring countries, does not
> resemble each other one bit.)
> /zrajm

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