[tlhIngan Hol] Sound of o

Will Martin willmartin2 at mac.com
Sun Jun 28 20:04:38 PDT 2020

The issue at hand is whether Okrand wrote that description accurately, intending it to be pronounced as the glide between two sounds that a linguist would recognize in a typical American pronunciation of the word “oh” that rhymes with “mow”, or if he was merely making sure that you would never use the “o” sound in “pot”, which is the Klingon {a} sound. 

Meanwhile, in recordings of Okrand speaking Klingon, there is no second vowel sound in {o}. The Klingon {o} is like the first half of the American word “oh”, though normal, non-linguist, non-Klingon speaker doesn’t realize that the American word “oh” has two sounds. They don’t notice the glide from the first half of the word “oh” to the second half because it is always there. American English never uses the first vowel sound of “oh” alone. 

Does that help?

Sent from my iPhone. 

> On Jun 28, 2020, at 12:17 PM, SuStel <sustel at trimboli.name> wrote:
> 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.
> -- 
> SuStel
> http://trimboli.name
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