Author Topic: Pronunciation questions  (Read 4236 times)

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Hrakkar

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Pronunciation questions
« on: September 09, 2011, 12:30:25 am »
While creating IPA for a whole list of Dothraki words this evening, I got quite an education on how things should sound. But I did see a couple things that raised some questions.

Some vowels have different sounds after a Q. There are also a couple of cases where an intervening w does not affect the change in the vowel sound. So, the e would sound the same in qe and qwe. Is the same thing true of other vowels, such as qa/qwa ?

How rough is the kh sound supposed to be? Mild, like the 'Bach' example given, or really rough like H sound in Klingon?

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ingsve

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Re: Pronunciation questions
« Reply #1 on: September 09, 2011, 01:18:20 am »
While creating IPA for a whole list of Dothraki words this evening, I got quite an education on how things should sound. But I did see a couple things that raised some questions.

Some vowels have different sounds after a Q. There are also a couple of cases where an intervening w does not affect the change in the vowel sound. So, the e would sound the same in qe and qwe. Is the same thing true of other vowels, such as qa/qwa ?

How rough is the kh sound supposed to be? Mild, like the 'Bach' example given, or really rough like H sound in Klingon?

The more I play around with Dothraki, the more beautiful and awesome this language is becoming to me!

I think the vowelchange ofter qw is a mistake that hasn't been changed. I think we came to the conclusion that the /w/ would remove hte need for a vowelchange. Someone correct me if I'm wrong here.

The /kh/ should be fairly smooth like the [ x] in Bach. The Klingon /H/ should also be the same smooth sound but they also have the voiced velar fricative [ɣ] which is rougher so perhaps it's simply the way people tend to pronounce it that is rougher in Klingon. You can listen to the various sources where David is speaking to get a sense of how he pronounces it. http://wiki.dothraki.org/dothraki/Audio_sources
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Qvaak

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Re: Pronunciation questions
« Reply #2 on: September 09, 2011, 07:05:54 pm »
The vowel change following [q] is a tough thing to get a good grasp of. It might be the best to just try to pronounce as written (not as the IPA instructs), but relaxed and natural, not pushing for the "correct" intonation. I'm not sure, but I think my vowels do shift at least some if I just let them.
Do Peterson's vowels shift after the [q] on the audio examples? I can't say.

It might be also worth noting, that the dothraki use only four phonemic vowels. Finns have eight. English have, I don't know, many. Seems to me that the dothraki might all in all pronounce vowels more loosely than most of us do.

Kh is actually another example of a phoneme with at least some range of different ...phones... allophones? I think David has said it sometimes shifts to palatal fricative. There aren't many phonemes nearby, so kh has space to wiggle. Listening to David (the latter relay) there seems to be two, maybe three different ways he says it. At the start of a word (kher) there is a bit of an attack; the phone is not terribly far from kh the actors sometimes seem to fall into. At the start of a syllabe (lavakhok and lekhaan) there is maybe less attack, but the phone is still harsh (even with lekhaan, where kh isn't on stressed syllabe). At the end of a word (elzikh) the phone tends to be a lot softer, closer to h.
What would that make in IPA codes? You can pronounce the same phoneme softer and sharper, I think, so maybe they all are just [ x ]. Maybe they should be [ x ], but aren't really. Even Peterson's pronunciation might shift in live situation more than the language allows. [ x ] isn't a phoneme he would use that often. Maybe they vary as they should, between [ ç ] and [ x ], and maybe even visiting [ ɣ ] or [ ɰ ] for more emphasis.
« Last Edit: September 09, 2011, 07:07:54 pm by Qvaak »
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Hrakkar

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Re: Pronunciation questions
« Reply #3 on: September 10, 2011, 12:18:36 am »
Very interesting. I'm going to have to do some careful listening to the audio examples. I know that when I have heard David speak Dothraki in person, his entire manner of speaking changes. I have never heard anything quite like it.

As far as the ch sound goes, I spent three days with the best Klingon speakers on the planet (including Marc Okrand) just prior to Worldcon. The pronounce H rather harshly, such that the only difference between H and Q is the onset, and between H and gh is the voicing. This is taking some serious practice to get good at, and proper pronunciation of the sounds might be the hardest part about Klingon.
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