[tlhIngan Hol] {'} as [t] - dialect?

Felix Malmenbeck felixm at kth.se
Sun May 20 11:44:09 PDT 2018

It certainly wouldn't be outside the realm of plausibility. In fact, something similar happens in some English varieties, with "bottle" being pronounced "bo-uhl" and so forth. Wikipedia uses the example words "cat", "the" and "button":

As for Klingon:
Based on the particular variant of no' Hol that was used in paq'batlh, it appears that word-final {t} morphed into {'} at some point (assuming a direct ancestry; it could simply be a cognate). Perhaps this tendency remains in some dialects, or perhaps it could be a case of convergent evolution.

Here are some examples (with no' Hol and English from the book; the modernized Klingon glossing is my own guesswork, with word order preserved):

no' Hol: [...] teq tyot lityanmaq’
English: [Thus] a second heart was forged.
Modernized: [...] tIq cha' luchenmoH

no' Hol: netabq’ot ‘usrutyeDi pog’ ‘eDyayloq’
English: Their power combined, invincible,
Modernized: nItebHa' HoSchaj pagh ['e]jeylaH

no' Hol: ‘ach juqmut wob g’irDet / Dyav q’usru g’ir Dya
English: The louder they beat, / The larger the storm became.
Modernized: 'ach joqmo' wab ghurDI' / jev HoS ghur je

no' Hol: quq’ syisi vivbat
English: The wind does not respect a fool.
Modernized: qoH SuS vuvbe'

no' Hol: teqmaaDoDi jotlhDet / [...] ‘ewDoDi tlhipDet / tlhengon ‘eDinesru
English: A Klingon must listen / To his hearts / [And] the whispers of his blood.
Modernized: tIq[maa]Daj jatlhDI' / [...] 'IwDaj tlhupDI' / tlhIngan 'IjnIS

no' Hol: Durmut / tog'
English: Out of the end / Came the beginning,
Modernized: Dormo' / tagh

Note that the ' in *'ew* has been preserved in the modern/future-day {'Iw}, while the ' in *'usru* appears to have become the H in {HoS}.
There is also the notable exception of *'qi'tu'* becoming {QI'tu'}.

We also have a couple of examples of words ending in {oot} morphing into {aw'}.
[Note that both of these examples include the syllable *me*, which appears to be an archaic verb prefix for "THEY verb THEM".
They also both contain the plural suffix -maa, which is likely a precursor to -mey but is also used for body parts and beings capable of language.]

no' Hol: 'qinmaa meqoot
English: They destroyed their gods.
Modernized: Qun[maa] [me]Qaw'

no' Hol: [...] mu’qberet tunsroot teqmaa metyanmuq’
English: The hearts created [five] forms of mok’bara
Modernized: moQbara' tonSaw' tIq[maa] [me]chenmoH

...and one of words enging in {oy'} morphing into {ay'}:

no' Hol: moy’ qitqitmut
English: a fierce battle
Modernized: may' qu'qu'mo'

We have one (somewhat questionable) example that may suggest that certain syllables could change depending on their place in a word:

no' Hol: [...] tubba'lit
English: [...] unchallenged

IF this word corresponds to the modern/future-day {tobbe'lu'}, we would have *ba'* as the precursor of -be' in one word, while also appearing as *bat* in the sentence *quq’ syisi vivbat* above.

From: tlhIngan-Hol <tlhingan-hol-bounces at lists.kli.org> on behalf of Lieven L. Litaer <levinius at gmx.de>
Sent: Sunday, May 20, 2018 19:07
To: tlhingan-hol at kli.org
Subject: Re: [tlhIngan Hol] {'} as [t] - dialect?

Am 20.05.2018 um 17:22 schrieb Daniel Dadap:
> I was listening to “The Klingon Way” as narrated by Michael Dorn and
> Roxann Biggs-Dawson, and couldn’t help but notice that it sounds like
> B’Elanna almost always (but not totally consistently) pronounces the
> {qaghwI'} as [t]. Perhaps [t] as an allophone of either /t/ or /ʔ/ may
> have been a feature of Miral’s dialect? Or is it an idiosyncrasy
> particular to B'elanna?

I would not regard this tape as being any official dialect, not even a
canon example of Klingon. SuStel wrote it in a very polite way, but I
would just say that this audio book version of TKW is really, really
bad. I listened once to it, and stopped halfway because it hurt my ears.
Beginners of Klingon should actually never listen to that, because it's
just bad Klingon.

This information is included in the German version, but I'll add that to
the wiki immediately right here:

Lieven L. Litaer
aka the "Klingon Teacher from Germany"

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