[tlhIngan Hol] I must be missing something here..

SuStel sustel at trimboli.name
Sun Oct 14 06:26:30 PDT 2018

On 10/14/2018 4:13 AM, mayqel qunenoS wrote:
> Two computer enginneers examine a malfunctioning computer. And one of 
> them says, believing he identified the problem, "its the hard DISC", 
> saying the word "disc" a little louder. This is what I understand when 
> I read "stress of a word/syllable".

As a computer engineer myself, I would never say /hard DISK;/ I would 
always say /HARD disk./

There is a phenomenon in English, whose technical term I cannot remember 
now, in which noun phrases that become lexicalized in the language have 
the stress shifted to the front. There is an example I heard from an old 
sitcom, I think it was /Seinfeld,/ in which the characters are all 
saying "Chinese FOOD." The phrase hadn't quite solidified as a lexical 
item. Now that it has, everyone says "CHINESE food."

Well, it's like that with /hard disk./ When the concept was new, people 
might have said /hard DISK,/ but now no native English-speaking engineer 
would every say that; the phrase is /HARD disk./

I can't tell you what they're saying over in Greece, of course, but this 
is the case as I know it here in New York.

English accomplishes a lot with stress that its speakers don't even 
realize is happening. Another pattern is that multisyllabic noun-verb 
pairs like /record/ or /increase:/ when they're nouns the stress is on 
the first syllable /(REcord; INcrease);/ when they're verbs the stress 
is on the second syllable /(reCORD; inCREASE)./

Klingon does not seem to have these features, so far as we can tell.

> However, in the previous example, if one of the engineers wonders 
> whether its the hard disc which causes the malfunction, he can say 
> "the hard disc ?". And because he is asking, his voice will pronounce 
> the word "disc", with a "rising tone".

/Tone/ is the right word, and is a different phenomenon than stress. We 
haven't been told anything about tones in Klingon, but actors have 
generally used English-sounding tones. They are not universal across 
languages, however.

> However, I notice that on numerous occasions of videos I see on 
> youtube, the voice of the speaker does indeed assume a "rising tone". 
> Something which seems to happen not only with the {-be'}, but with 
> other suffixes as well, which happen to bear the qaghwI' and be the 
> last syllable of a word.

Usually what I hear isn't a rising tone in the manner of a question, but 
it is a higher tone nonetheless. If you listen to all of Okrand's 
recorded voice, you'll usually hear him do it too. Once in a while 
you'll hear something else, but stressed syllables usually receive a 
higher tone.

Whether this is a feature of the language, a mistake, or irrelevant to 
native speakers is unknown. /The Klingon Dictionary/ leaves the matter 
of stress vague, and doesn't mention tone at all.

> I can't believe that all those people are doing it wrong

I can totally believe that random videos on the Internet get Klingon 
pronunciation consistently wrong. There is a lot of REALLY bad Klingon 
out there.

Some common pronunciation errors committed by students who haven't had 
much speaking practice:

  * Pronouncing *j* as /zh/
  * Pronouncing *H* as /h/
  * Pronouncing *Q* or *q* as /k/
  * Being unable to pronounce *gh* or *tlh* at all
  * Trying to pronounce the vowels too far back in the mouth, to the
    point of practically choking on them
  * Ignoring *qaghwI'mey* completely, especially at the ends of words
  * Trying to growl or roar when speaking, because they think that's
    what Klingon is
  * Holding syllables too long
  * Pronouncing unstressed syllables with a schwa vowel instead of the
    given vowel
  * Shifting consonants across syllable boundaries
  * Just giving up completely and making up syllables

Add to this list "Stressing the wrong syllables."


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