[tlhIngan Hol] info from Maltz: pronunciation

De'vID de.vid.jonpin at gmail.com
Wed Jan 16 03:45:26 PST 2019

On Sun, 25 Feb 2018 at 22:27, Felix Malmenbeck <felixm at kth.se> wrote:

> Ah, interesting; I've always assumed that the word {Sar} meant "variety"
> in the sense of "diversity", rather than "variant". Now I'll have to
> rethink my use of the phrase {belmoH Sar}. Perhaps {belmoH SartaHghach.}
> would be preferable?

I've received some more information about {Sar}. For context, Maltz was
helping me with the translations of some UI strings for {boQwI'}, and in
particular, I asked him about the following potentially ambiguous phrases:
{ngutlh Sar buSHa'} "ignore written-character variety", but also "ignore
various written-characters"
{potlhbe' ngutlh Sar} "written-character variety isn't important", but also
"various written-characters aren't important"
{QIch wab Ho'DoS Sar} "pronunciation variety", but also "various

This was his reply:
--- begin quote ---
Maltz says that, in context, the sentences you asked about are clear, but
he agrees that there could be ambiguity.

He suggested using {DI'on} "characteristic, trait" instead of the noun
{Sar} when referring to cases (upper/lower). {DI’on} can also be translated
as "style" (in the sense of "distinctive appearance," not in the sense of
"elegance, sophistication, pizazz," etc.).


{ngutlh DI'on busHa'} "ignore the written-character trait/style" (that is,
"ignore case")

{ngutlh DI'onmey buSHa'} "ignore written-character traits/styles" (that is,
"ignore cases")

{DI'on} would not be used for the various ways of referring to accents,
however. For that, he stuck with {Sar}.  He said that although {QIch wab
Ho'DoS Sar} in isolation may be ambiguous, you can clarify things by using

{QIch wab Ho'DoS Sarmey} "pronunciation varieties" (that is, "accents")

{QIch wab Ho'DoS Sar} "pronunciation variety/varieties" (that is,
"accent(s)"). As with other things, context will determine whether the noun
{Sar} is best translated as singular or plural. Context will also determine
whether {Sar} is a noun or verb here; read on.

With {Sar} as a singular noun, the phrase {QIch wab Ho'DoS Sar} "accent"
would probably be used only if the type of accent were indicated: {Qotmagh
QIch wab Ho'DoS Sar} "Krotmag accent," {QIch wab Ho'DoS Sar Huj} "strange
accent." To say {QIch wab Ho'DoS Sar vIQoy} "I hear an accent" (with no
further information or context) would be odd since everyone speaks with an
accent; {QIch wab Ho'DoS Sar Huj vIQoy} "I hear a strange accent" is fine.
(Of course, {QIch wab Ho'DoS Sar Huj vIQoy} could also mean "I hear strange
accents" — also fine.)

As for the verb {Sar}…

{QIch wab Ho'DoSmey Sar} means "varied pronunciations."

{QIch wab Ho'DoS} in the phrase {QIch wab Ho'DoS Sar} would normally be
interpreted as plural: {QIch wab Ho'DoS Sar vIQoy} "I hear varied
pronunciations" (that is, "I hear accents").

A singular interpretation of {QIch wab Ho'DoS} is possible if the intent is
to say that someone's pronunciation exhibited different varieties —
different accents: {QIch wab Ho'DoS Sar vIQoy} "I hear a varied
pronunciation, a pronunciation with different or inconsistent features."
But this is unusual, something only somebody like Henry Higgins would say,
and would probably be made clear by context. And if it wasn’t clear,
Professor Higgins would probably use a different verb altogether: {ngang}
"vary, be varying." This verb is used to express that something is varying
or deviating from the norm or is varying or fluctuating so much that there
isn’t a norm. (If the readouts on certain instruments on a ship did this,
that would probably be bad news.)

So… even though the grammatical status of {Sar} might be different — in
certain contexts, it could be a noun or a verb — the general meaning is
roughly the same.

(If "we" are the ones doing the hearing, the grammatical ambiguity remains
— is {Sar} a noun or a verb? -- but there's even less potential meaning
confusion: {QIch wab Ho'DoS Sar DIQoy} "we hear varied pronunciations / we
hear accents"; {QIch wab Ho'DoS Sar wIQoy} "we hear a varied
pronunciation." This could also mean "we hear an accent," but, as above,
this would be unusual. One would be more likely to hear something along the
lines of {QIch wab Ho'DoS Sar Huj wIQoy}"we hear a strange accent.")

(By the way — note that the noun {Sar} means "variety" in the sense of "an
interesting variety of tea," not "variety is the spice of life.")

(By the way #2 – the word for "pronounce" is {qol}. You’d use this, for
example, to ask how to pronounce a word: {chay’ mu’vam qollu’?} "How is
this word pronounced?"  {qol} refers to articulation; it does not mean
"pronounce" in the sense of  "proclaim, declare, decree." )
--- end quote ---

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