[tlhIngan Hol] Sound of o

SuStel sustel at trimboli.name
Sun Jun 28 09:17:37 PDT 2020

On 6/28/2020 10:39 AM, Will Martin wrote:
> While I completely agree with you, I do so with the understanding 
> that, as in Japanese or Danish, a long vowel is a vowel literally held 
> for a longer duration. The pronunciation of the long vowel doesn’t 
> shift in either of those languages the way that what we call a “long” 
> vowel shifts in English.

When I said "long," I meant it in the sense of /lengthened,/ not as the 
diphthong English "long o." Okrand's pronunciation of *toD* and *lenHom* 
includes a /lengthened/ *o.*

English "long" vowels were once actually lengthened vowels in Old 
English that had values closer to the Latin values. During the Great 
Vowel Shift the lengthened vowels turned into diphthongs. We still call 
them long, though in English that means a particular set of diphthongs. 
And we still have literally long and short vowels in English, but they 
rarely play any semantic role. Most people don't even hear them. (For 
instance, the word /cheese/ is pronounced with a "long /e,/" and it is 
also literally lengthened. The vowel's length is what turns the written 
/s/ into a voiced /z./ But if you shorten the /e/ sound to rhyme with 
/fleece,/ it's still the same word, just pronounced strangely.)

It may be that Okrand is influenced by his American accent: because 
*toD* and *Hom* both end with voiced consonants, he may be lengthening 
the *o* the way you would in English.


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