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

SuStel sustel at trimboli.name
Sun May 20 09:54:08 PDT 2018

On 5/20/2018 11:22 AM, Daniel Dadap wrote:
> 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 like thinking it’s dialect, since “dialect” is usually my headcanon 
> for why Klingon given names often don’t make phonological sense in 
> {ta' Hol}. Either that, or Federation Xenolinguists employ 
> transliterations we don’t understand, or they’re just really bad at 
> transliteration. It doesn’t match the description of any of the 
> dialects listed at http://www.klingonwiki.net/En/Dialect, but does 
> anyone know of other instances where a speaker semi-consistently 
> pronounces {qaghwI'} as [t]?

Dorn and Dawson had only some audio recordings of Okrand and, I think, a 
brief explanation of Klingon phonology when they recorded those. I chalk 
it up to actors not being given enough direction; I don't have my head 
buried so deeply in /Star Trek/ fandom I can't just accept a flawed 
production as being flawed.

That said, we really know only a tiny bit about "the fiction of Klingon 
conformity." How many planets, with how many districts, and how many 
cities, are there in the Empire? We don't know. We don't know how well a 
half-Klingon who doesn't really like being Klingon actually speaks 
Klingon. There is just so much we don't know, there's really little 
point in trying to discern the reason for an aberration. It could be 


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