Learn Dothraki and Valyrian

Learn Dothraki => Beginners => Topic started by: Hrakkar on May 18, 2011, 04:47:23 pm

Title: Hrakka vs Hrakkar
Post by: Hrakkar on May 18, 2011, 04:47:23 pm
I just got back from a train trip to/from Denver, Colorado (train broke down in the middle of nowhere-- both engines failed! Stock without power for 11 hours, until we were towed into Elko, NV by a freight engine.) I used this time to read GoT cover-to-cover, so now I can more fully understand what is discussed here.

One question though-- The word for 'white lion' given in the dictionary is hrakka The word in the book (2 places) is hrakkar. What is the difference? (no clue on the grammar page) Is one word right over the other? Should my user name be Hrakkar instead of Hrakka?
Title: Re: Hrakka vs Hrakkar
Post by: ingsve on May 18, 2011, 05:49:46 pm
Good question. It would seem that the spelling might have been confused with hranna so that the /r/ was dropped at some point. We would have to ask Lajaki about that: Was that just a mistake or did you get the word hrakka from somewhere else where the /r/ is dropped?
Title: Re: Hrakka vs Hrakkar
Post by: Hrakkar on May 18, 2011, 11:39:42 pm
Hrakka is from Lajaki's dictionary. I just checked the wiki dictionary, and it is hrakka there as well.
Title: Re: Hrakka vs Hrakkar
Post by: ingsve on May 19, 2011, 12:17:08 am
If you look at the Original Corpus page on the wiki: http://wiki.dothraki.org/dothraki/Original_Corpus (http://wiki.dothraki.org/dothraki/Original_Corpus) you'll see that he uses the word hrakkar so it might be a mistake that has been repeated from one place to another.
Title: Re: Hrakka vs Hrakkar
Post by: Hrakkar on May 20, 2011, 01:33:20 am
How would one go about getting this corrected? Also, it it easy to change ones' username?
Title: Re: Hrakka vs Hrakkar
Post by: ingsve on May 20, 2011, 01:46:14 am
How would one go about getting this corrected? Also, it it easy to change ones' username?

Well, we can ask David about it.

I think you should be able to switch your username in your profile settings.
Title: Re: Hrakka vs Hrakkar
Post by: ingsve on May 20, 2011, 04:12:30 am
David confirms that it should be hrakkar.
Title: Re: Hrakka vs Hrakkar
Post by: Hrakkar on May 21, 2011, 02:04:32 am
David confirms that it should be hrakkar.

That was easy to fix. (I am assuming that this would syllabify as hrak-kar?
Thanks for asking DP about this.
Title: Re: Hrakka vs Hrakkar
Post by: ingsve on May 21, 2011, 02:42:24 am
David confirms that it should be hrakkar.

That was easy to fix. (I am assuming that this would syllabify as hrak-kar?
Thanks for asking DP about this.

I would guess so depending on how you would pronounce that. I don't think you hear the /k/-sound twice as in a stutter. It's more like a long /k/-sound if that makes sense.
Title: Re: Hrakka vs Hrakkar
Post by: Qvaak on May 21, 2011, 03:50:45 am
Quote
I don't think you hear the /k/-sound twice as in a stutter. It's more like a long /k/-sound if that makes sense.

Yeah. We double consonants like p, k and t in Finnish (Finnish is very close to Estonian, which I think Peterson has mentioned as one of the inspirations) and it's likely that goes the same way in Dothraki. More than stutterlike real doubling it's just a very short pause and then the plosive sound, like hra'kar. Only not quite. Actually you close the air flow, then give a shortest pause and then release the plosive, so yeah, it's pretty accurately described as a long k-sound.

At least this is how I think I do it. I'm no phonologist and can not quickly find any source to corroborate my explanation.
Title: Re: Hrakka vs Hrakkar
Post by: Hrakkar on May 21, 2011, 10:38:39 am
Quote
I don't think you hear the /k/-sound twice as in a stutter. It's more like a long /k/-sound if that makes sense.

Yeah. We double consonants like p, k and t in Finnish (Finnish is very close to Estonian, which I think Peterson has mentioned as one of the inspirations) and it's likely that goes the same way in Dothraki. More than stutterlike real doubling it's just a very short pause and then the plosive sound, like hra'kar. Only not quite. Actually you close the air flow, then give a shortest pause and then release the plosive, so yeah, it's pretty accurately described as a long k-sound.

At least this is how I think I do it. I'm no phonologist and can not quickly find any source to corroborate my explanation.

Hmmm... every conlanger seems to like Estonian! I have a good friend at work who speaks Estonian fluently. I'll ask him about that. In any case, this is helpful. (The extra r at the end of hrakkar makes for a much more challenging pronunciation!)
Title: Re: Hrakka vs Hrakkar
Post by: Qvaak on May 21, 2011, 11:35:48 am
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The extra r at the end of hrakkar makes for a much more challenging pronunciation!
Hahh. The rolling r is a common phoneme in my mother tongue and it still took me ~10 years to get it right. My brother still struggles with it after a quarter of a century. Now, though, I have much more trouble figuring the starting h out.
Title: Re: Hrakka vs Hrakkar
Post by: Verak on May 23, 2011, 03:36:53 pm
Quote
I don't think you hear the /k/-sound twice as in a stutter. It's more like a long /k/-sound if that makes sense.

Yeah. We double consonants like p, k and t in Finnish (Finnish is very close to Estonian, which I think Peterson has mentioned as one of the inspirations) and it's likely that goes the same way in Dothraki. More than stutterlike real doubling it's just a very short pause and then the plosive sound, like hra'kar. Only not quite. Actually you close the air flow, then give a shortest pause and then release the plosive, so yeah, it's pretty accurately described as a long k-sound.

At least this is how I think I do it. I'm no phonologist and can not quickly find any source to corroborate my explanation.

/k/ /t/ /p/ are all stops (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stop_consonant), so by definition they STOP. I think it makes much more sense to syllabify it as /hrak.kar/ or /hraʔ.kar/. It seems correct to me as it appears in the dictionary as of today. Other double things that are not stops /s/ /l/, etc. can be LONG because their sounds can be sustained and the nasal stops /n/ /m/ /ng(ŋ)/ can be optionally sustained by 'humming'. I think for these it's good to listen to DP from the relay text reading from the LCC4 audio. There are some double consonants in the general talk on verb classes too.


Title: Re: Hrakka vs Hrakkar
Post by: ingsve on May 23, 2011, 07:56:14 pm
/k/ /t/ /p/ are all stops (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stop_consonant), so by definition they STOP. I think it makes much more sense to syllabify it has /hrak.kar/ or /hraʔ.kar/. It seems correct to me as it appears in the dictionary as of today. Other double things that are not stops /s/ /l/, etc. can be LONG because their sounds can be sustained and the nasal stops /n/ /m/ /ng(ŋ)/ can be optionally sustained by 'humming'. I think for these it's good to listen to DP from the relay text reading from the LCC4 audio. There are some double consonants in the general talk on verb classes too.

Ya, I guess /hraʔ.kar/ is actaully how I usually pronounce them, just didn't know how to describe it. 
Title: Re: Hrakka vs Hrakkar
Post by: Qvaak on May 24, 2011, 08:20:49 pm
/k/ /t/ /p/ are all stops (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stop_consonant), so by definition they STOP. I think it makes much more sense to syllabify it as /hrak.kar/ or /hraʔ.kar/. It seems correct to me as it appears in the dictionary as of today. Other double things that are not stops /s/ /l/, etc. can be LONG because their sounds can be sustained and the nasal stops /n/ /m/ /ng(ŋ)/ can be optionally sustained by 'humming'.
Having done some thinking, voice practising and reading (all to little avail)...
Aye. Stops cannot really be sustained. That is quite clear. I don't think I said anything different. But silence can be sustained. These stops are two-parters. First you close the air flow, then you release it. Normally you do the second part practically instantly after the first, but if you like, you can remain silent for a while - very short while, if you're speaking fast. As this pause is in the middle of a 'phoneme', I don't think it's that silly to speak of a long consonant. From start to finish it can easily take as long as any other sustained phoneme. ...Might be a little bit figurative, s'true.

Now on the other hand, even though the release part is usually the part with the clearest sound, the closing the air flow part does sound quite different in different stop consonants and may well serve as a phoneme at it's own right. So yeah, to speak of doubled consonant is pretty accurate too. If you pause long enough to differentiate the sounds, you get two consonants at the prize of one stop of the air flow. I think in word combinations like at times and top priority even english speakers often do this two for one trick - I do for sure.

As for the IPA notation:
/hrak.kar/ is the simplest possible solution and very defendable. But 1) people not used to doubled consonants will voice two fully executed stops and sound very wrong; 2) If Dothraki also uses fully doubled stops (for example with some prefixes), we'd need to find some different way to notate them.
/hrak:ar/ doesn't seem too popular choice. I saw it used somewhere outside in the internet (with finnish, not with Dothraki of course), but there too it was presented as misleading. Syllabes change in the middle and the notation argues against that.
/hraʔ.kar/ seems like an odd solution. Isn't the ʔ-symbol used unconventionally? As far as I read it marks a stop deep in the throat, a voiceless glottal plosive. You might manage to emulate the way the word sounds quite closely, but if you followed the instruction, you'd do it very wrong and rather awkwardly.

It is, of course, possible that Dothraki just handles doubled stop consonants in some unusual way, but from the little I have heard that doesn't seem likely.

Quote
I think for these it's good to listen to DP from the relay text reading from the LCC4 audio. There are some double consonants in the general talk on verb classes too.
Pardon my clumsiness. It seem I either cannot download or haven't even found those recordings. Are they available for an outsider like me?
Title: Re: Hrakka vs Hrakkar
Post by: ingsve on May 24, 2011, 09:05:16 pm
Pardon my clumsiness. It seem I either cannot download or haven't even found those recordings. Are they available for an outsider like me?

Ah, I thought I posted a link to that more prominently but it seems it was only in response to a question of the dothraki /h/.

Anyway its' this video and he starts at around 14:50 into the video.

http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/14723467 (http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/14723467)
Title: Re: Hrakka vs Hrakkar
Post by: Tracy on May 25, 2011, 06:26:16 am
Aye. Stops cannot really be sustained. That is quite clear. I don't think I said anything different. But silence can be sustained. These stops are two-parters. First you close the air flow, then you release it. Normally you do the second part practically instantly after the first, but if you like, you can remain silent for a while - very short while, if you're speaking fast. As this pause is in the middle of a 'phoneme', I don't think it's that silly to speak of a long consonant. From start to finish it can easily take as long as any other sustained phoneme. ...Might be a little bit figurative, s'true.

I agree.  In linguistics, you sometimes talk about words having "timing slots" - a sound usually takes up one slot, and a long sound takes up two.  Languages with doubled stops do exactly what Qvaak described - the airflow is stopped for longer.

(In general we don't think of English as having this kind of doubling, but there's the occasional exception - compare the "k" in "booking" to the one in "bookkeeper".  We don't pronounce two separate "k" sounds in "bookkeeper" - but most speakers hold the closure in "k" for noticeably longer.

Quote
Now on the other hand, even though the release part is usually the part with the clearest sound, the closing the air flow part does sound quite different in different stop consonants and may well serve as a phoneme at it's own right. So yeah, to speak of doubled consonant is pretty accurate too. If you pause long enough to differentiate the sounds, you get two consonants at the prize of one stop of the air flow. I think in word combinations like at times and top priority even english speakers often do this two for one trick - I do for sure.

I have found some helpful pictures to illustrate the airflow and silence Qvaak describes, from Jeremy O'Brien's paper "Perception and English t-Glottalization": http://people.ucsc.edu/~jpobrien/papers/obrien_tglot.pdf (http://people.ucsc.edu/~jpobrien/papers/obrien_tglot.pdf).

(https://forum.dothraki.org/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Falientongues.com%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2011%2F05%2Fstops.gif&hash=f30e2d05341997a498637ade6d7d6a0c)

These show a speaker pronouncing the nonsense words "apa", "ata", and "aka", the three English voiceless stops.  The blank spot in the middle is the silence that results from closing off the airflow.  (You can spot a few little lines at the left-hand edge of the silence - those are pulses from the vocal folds, which carry over the voicing from the previous vowel slightly into the closure.  If these were voiced stops - "aba", "ada", "aga" - the voicing would continue through the closure, as you can kinda see here: http://www.springerimages.com/Images/Biomedicine/1-10.1007_s00221-005-0008-z-1 (http://www.springerimages.com/Images/Biomedicine/1-10.1007_s00221-005-0008-z-1))

The sound waves for the silent part are indistiguishable for all three stops.  The reason we can tell them apart is because of the sounds at the beginning and end, when the airflow is being closed and opened.

In the picture, you'll notice some dark bands in the vowel sounds on either side of the silence.  The dark areas show the frequencies where there's the most acoustic energy.  You'll notice that the patterns of those dark bands are different for different sounds.  Those patterns are what our brain uses to convert a constantly changing stream of sound into what we perceive as individual sounds.

I don't have any spectrograms of double consonants handy, and I am at home with a terrible cold so I'm not going to make my own spectrograms.  But if we looked at a language with doubled consonants, we'd see that the period of silence is extended for longer, and the dark bands at the beginning and end sound the same.  To my ear, this is what Dothraki is doing.

I wouldn't characterize the closure as "a phoneme in its own right", though.  Let me explain what I mean.

In English, we sometimes consider sounds the same even though we pronounce them differently.  Take the "p" sound in the words "pit" and "spit".  English speakers consider it the same sound, and usually can't hear any difference without training.  But it's easy to show they're pronounced differently - for example, if you hold a piece of paper in front of your mouth, you'll notice that it moves a lot more on "pit" than "spit". 

That's because the "p" in "pit" is aspirated - it's pronounced with a burst of air.  The two p's are produced differently - a linguist would say they're different phones, but for English speakers, they're forms of the same phoneme.

A phoneme is a mental category of sounds, so you can't test whether something is a separate phoneme by looking at whether you can find differences in the sound at its beginning and its end.  The real question is whether speakers consider them different.

Quote
As for the IPA notation:
/hrak.kar/ is the simplest possible solution and very defendable. But 1) people not used to doubled consonants will voice two fully executed stops and sound very wrong; 2) If Dothraki also uses fully doubled stops (for example with some prefixes), we'd need to find some different way to notate them.
/hrak:ar/ doesn't seem too popular choice. I saw it used somewhere outside in the internet (with finnish, not with Dothraki of course), but there too it was presented as misleading. Syllabes change in the middle and the notation argues against that.
/hraʔ.kar/ seems like an odd solution. Isn't the ʔ-symbol used unconventionally? As far as I read it marks a stop deep in the throat, a voiceless glottal plosive. You might manage to emulate the way the word sounds quite closely, but if you followed the instruction, you'd do it very wrong and rather awkwardly.

I think it's fine for the Dothraki community to choose whatever's useful here - there are often several possible IPA transcriptions for a word, depending on how much detail you're including.  (In the English word "hamster", for example, many people produce a "p" sound in the middle - "hampster".  A broad transcription would be /hæm.str̩/, which notes the individual phonemes but not the effect of the rule that inserts the "p".  A narrower transcription would be [hæ̃mp.str̩], which shows the insertion of the [p] and the nasalization of the /æ/.)  (BTW, the other window with my IPA shows that as a syllabic r, but the little syllabic marker is disappearing when I paste the transcription into the Post Reply form.)

If I were writing a paper on Dothraki, I'd probably go with /hrak.kar/.  If it later turned out that some stops had double releases,  I'd use the "unreleased" diacritic from the IPA for the double stops that are simply held longer.  (I've tried to cut and paste the symbol into this form, but it's not showing up - so it's probably not all that useful for the forum.)

As for the last - Qvaak, you're right, the ʔ is a glottal stop.  It's made by closing the vocal folds together and cutting off airflow.  (English has it in the word "uh-oh", and languages like Hawaiian and Arabic make much greater use of it - for them, it's just another consonant.)

With voiceless stops (/p/, /t/, /k/, and /q/) it might not sound all that strange if people try to say doubled stops with a glottal stop.  To produce a voiceless stop, you have to do two things - close the airflow, and stop the vibration of the vocal folds.  Many English speakers do this by closing the vocal folds together, producing what are called "glottalized" stops.  With voiced stops, though, the glottal stop will also stop the continuous voicing that you normally get throughout the stop.  So that will sound weird.
Title: Re: Hrakka vs Hrakkar
Post by: Hrakkar on May 25, 2011, 02:09:05 pm
Wow, I have missed all this discussion going on! It it all very interesting, and I need to read it all very carefully (and I think this helps with certain aspects of Na`vi as well).

I have been practicing hrak.kar and hra`.kar so far (I tend to use ` for the glottal stop because it is on the keyboard, and I do not know the unicode for many of the IPA characters) , and am not sure yet which I like better. I will also have to listen to the DP talk when my busy schedule allows me to.
Title: Re: Hrakka vs Hrakkar
Post by: Qvaak on May 25, 2011, 03:25:18 pm
Pardon my clumsiness. It seem I either cannot download or haven't even found those recordings. Are they available for an outsider like me?

Ah, I thought I posted a link to that more prominently but it seems it was only in response to a question of the dothraki /h/.

Anyway its' this video and he starts at around 14:50 into the video.

http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/14723467 (http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/14723467)
Thanks! Those streams are rather unwieldy for my bandwidth, but I managed to rip the relevant audios and already listened through them a couple of times. Actually the thing that stood most out for me is how clearly Peterson separates the doubled vowels. I knew there were supposed to be no long vowels (at all?) and very few diphthongs, but I guess that hadn't really set in my brain.
Title: Re: Hrakka vs Hrakkar
Post by: ingsve on May 25, 2011, 07:19:01 pm
Thanks! Those streams are rather unwieldy for my bandwidth, but I managed to rip the relevant audios and already listened through them a couple of times. Actually the thing that stood most out for me is how clearly Peterson separates the doubled vowels. I knew there were supposed to be no long vowels (at all?) and very few diphthongs, but I guess that hadn't really set in my brain.

I think they intend to separate all the videos and upload them separately somewhere else but I'm not sure where or when that will happen.

Yes, the double vowels is where a lot of peoples intuition gets them wrong. I think it became clear to me when David said that it worked for example like the spanish word creer etc and since I've studied a little spanish I knew what he meant by that.