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Re: [Tlhingan-hol] qaghwI' (was Re: Klingon Word of the Day: veSDuj)

Rohan Fenwick ( [KLI Member]

.hmmessage P
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<body class='hmmessage'><div dir='ltr'>ghItlhpu' Anthony, jatlh:<br>&gt; To me, the main unrealistic feature of pIqaD as we have it is that the<br>&gt; glottal stop is represented by an apostrophe as in English and not by<br>&gt; a substantial sized symbol.<br><br>jangpu' Qov, jatlh:<br>&gt; I had the same disappointment, compounded by the fact that even the<br>&gt; name distinguished it from other letters, but on reflection and discussion<br>&gt; I became satisfied that the sound is separate enough that it makes sense. <br><br>I'm with Qov on this one - in fact, I think I was probably been one of the ones to help convince her of it in the first place. Even on Earth, the glottal stop is often not quite as simple as "any other stop", as SuStel puts it. There are many languages, like Hawaiian and Circassian, where the glottal stop does fall in smoothly with other stops from a phonological point of view. But in many other languages, the glottal stop is more complicated, and forms a sort of class of its own. Though phonologically an unremarkable stop in Arabic, in the writing system it's also written with a diacritic (hamza) rather than a full-blown letter, since the letter alif on its own was also pressed into service as a mater lectionis for a long /a/ vowel. And in Danish, glottal stop is unwritten but is more suprasegmental, forming an important part of the interaction with the system of tone. Even in Klingon, it's the only consonant that attracts stress when appearing in the syllable coda, which shows that its phonology encroaches on the suprasegmental as well.<br><br>In 2012 Qov challenged us to "Find me a language with a native writing system and a phonemic glottal stop that treats the glottal stop differently from t and k and q and I'll be convinced." For me, the language that makes me okay with qaghwI' as it is, both in its name and its depiction in pIqaD, is Classic Maya, and this is copypasta from my reply of 2012 in which I said as much:<br><div><br>jIH:<br>&gt;Classic Maya might be such a language. Glottal stop is phonemic (though<br>&gt;only rarely word-initially; there are no syllable characters in Maya<br>&gt;dedicated to vowel-only syllables as distinct from glottal stop + vowel)<br>&gt;but the characters for the glottal stop syllables - /'a 'e 'i 'o 'u/ -<br>&gt;are often dropped from the ends of words where a glottal stop should<br>&gt;appear:<br>&gt;ka' "two" written /ka/, not /ka-'a/<br>&gt;but<br>&gt;ha' "this, that": /ha-'a/<br>&gt;mo' "macaw": written /mo-'o/, or even /mo-'o-'o/<br>&gt;ma' "not": written /ma-'a/ or /ma/<br>&gt;and though there's not a distinction between final glottal stop and zero,<br>&gt;the loss of final glottal stop-vowel characters does hide a phonemic<br>&gt;distinction between /'/ and /h/, which is also often underspelled:<br>&gt;chih "deer": written in full /chi-hi/ or underspelled /chi/<br>&gt;chi' "a fermented drink": underspelled /chi/<br>&gt;nah "great, large": underspelled /na/<br>&gt;na' "lady": underspelled /na/<br><br>To this, I'll just note the further detail that the other Classic Maya stops /p t k/ (and the glottalised /b' t' k'/) are never underspelled in this way.<br><br>In other words, the native Classic Maya writing system treats the glottal stop, alone among the stops, as relatively peripheral and in some instances functionally ignorable, and in a similar fashion to how the Klingon writing system does. For that reason, I can completely get how the original Klingon writing system may have had no letter at all for the glottal stop (and particularly since we know now from the paq'batlh that many instances of qaghwI' - and particularly in the syllable coda - came from other consonants in no' Hol), and it may have been added relatively recently: perhaps at first as little more than a diacritic marker of the stress attraction caused by glottal codas in modern Klingon (like the acute that marks irregular stress in Spanish, maybe?) and only later being slightly elaborated into its own distinct letter so that glottal onsets, as well as glottal codas, could be marked orthographically.<br><br>(Yes, I know that in practice the form of the letter in pIqaD is basically informed by its form in roman typography. But within the game there are good solid explanations for it as well.)<br><br>QeS<br></div> 		 	   		  </div></body>
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