[17] in tlhIngan-Hol

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this and that

Sun Feb 16 15:15:53 1992

From: ima.ima.isc.com!ICNUCEVM.CNUCE.CNR.IT!ima.ima.isc.com!krankor%village.boston.ma.us@village.boston.ma.us
To: tlhIngan-Hol@IMA.ISC.COM
Date:    Sat, 17 Aug 91 23:56:22 EDT
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Regarding 'IyS:

>"Ready" would make sense in the context of when he said it, but the
>three ways to say "Ready" are SuS, Su', and 'eH, none of which sound
>like 'IyS or 'IS. The closest would be SuS, which the book says is
>sometimes pronounced simply "shhhhh". It could be yet-another-BAD-
>pronunciation-by-an-actor, I suppose. There certainly have been enough
>of them.

Klingon dialects are certainly not well understood in this part of the
galaxy. It's certainly difficult to talk about bad pronuciation in such
a context.... {{:-)

I think that what sounds a bit like 'IyS in Star Trek: The Motion Picture
is really just an allophonic nonce-palatalization by the Klingon commander
precipitated by the tension of being about-to-be-patterned-for-data-storage.

What this means is that the Klingon commander's tension raised his tongue
up to the Klingon equivalent of his palate, which caused the phoneme H /x/
to be pronounced slightly forward of its velar position, approximating
/c,/ (c-cedilla). This sound is a common variant in many languages of a
/x/ phoneme in the environment of front vowels. In languages other than
Klingon, this alternation is sometimes mandatory: in standard German, back
vowels require /x/ (ach-Laut) and front vowels require /c,/ (ich-Laut).
Note that in Baveria the /c,/ is not found, but is palatalized still further
to /s^/ (ish)!

In this word, the palatalization fronted H to S, and fronted the vowel
further forward from e to I. But I am certain that what appears to sound
like 'IyS is really 'eH in this instance.


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