Difference between revisions of "Denobulan language"

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(Phonology revamp.)
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The following table shows the consonant phonemes of Denobulan:
 
The following table shows the consonant phonemes of Denobulan:
 
{| class="wikitable"
 
{| class="wikitable"
! Consonants
+
! width=130px | Consonants
! Bilabial
+
! width=60px | Labial
! Alveolar
+
! width=60px | Alveolar
! Velar
+
! width=60px | Velar
! Glottal
+
! width=60px | Glottal
 
|-
 
|-
 
| style="font-style:italic;" | Plosive
 
| style="font-style:italic;" | Plosive
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|-
 
|-
 
| style="font-style:italic;" | Affricates
 
| style="font-style:italic;" | Affricates
| style="text-align: center; background-color:#efefef;" |  
+
| style="text-align: center;" | p͡f
 
| style="text-align: center;" | t͡s d͡z
 
| style="text-align: center;" | t͡s d͡z
 
| style="text-align: center; background-color:#efefef;" |  
 
| style="text-align: center; background-color:#efefef;" |  
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|-
 
|-
 
| style="font-style:italic;" | Fricative
 
| style="font-style:italic;" | Fricative
| style="text-align: center;" | ɸ ɸʰ
+
| style="text-align: center;" | f
 
| style="text-align: center;" | s
 
| style="text-align: center;" | s
 
| style="text-align: center; background-color:#efefef;" |  
 
| style="text-align: center; background-color:#efefef;" |  
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|-
 
|-
 
| style="font-style:italic;" | Approximant
 
| style="font-style:italic;" | Approximant
| style="text-align: center;" | β̞
+
| style="text-align: center;" | ʋ
 
| style="text-align: center;" | ɹ
 
| style="text-align: center;" | ɹ
 
| style="text-align: center;" | j
 
| style="text-align: center;" | j
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| style="text-align: center; background-color:#efefef;" |  
 
| style="text-align: center; background-color:#efefef;" |  
 
| style="text-align: center; background-color:#efefef;" |  
 
| style="text-align: center; background-color:#efefef;" |  
 +
|}
 +
{|width=435px style="text-align:center; font-size:8.5pt; margin-top:-10px;"
 +
|''Where symbols appear in pairs, the one to the right represents a voiced consonant.''
 
|}
 
|}
  
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* Unlike Federation Standard, Denobulan doesn't aspirize its voiceless plosives. However, in some non-native dialects aspirization can be found.
 
* Unlike Federation Standard, Denobulan doesn't aspirize its voiceless plosives. However, in some non-native dialects aspirization can be found.
 
* The pre-nasalized plosives [ⁿd] and [ᵑg] are relics of Denobulan's proto-language and can only be found word-initially nowadays. Second language speakers often struggle pronouncing these two phonemes.
 
* The pre-nasalized plosives [ⁿd] and [ᵑg] are relics of Denobulan's proto-language and can only be found word-initially nowadays. Second language speakers often struggle pronouncing these two phonemes.
 +
* The [p] in the affricate [p̪f] is very soft, and might not even be pronounced depandant on the dialect. The distinction between it and the regular fricative [f] has disappeared in some dialects, even.
 
* The affricates [t͡s] and [d͡z] are often pronounced as the palato-alveolar affricate [t͡ʃ] and [d͡ʒ] due to Federation Standard influences.
 
* The affricates [t͡s] and [d͡z] are often pronounced as the palato-alveolar affricate [t͡ʃ] and [d͡ʒ] due to Federation Standard influences.
 
** The affricate [t͡s] (or [t͡ʃ]) turns into an velar affricate [k͡s] after back and central vowels, written as <x> in the romanization.
 
** The affricate [t͡s] (or [t͡ʃ]) turns into an velar affricate [k͡s] after back and central vowels, written as <x> in the romanization.
 
** The affricate [d͡z] is sometimes analyzed as dialectal, as it is an extremely rare consonant.
 
** The affricate [d͡z] is sometimes analyzed as dialectal, as it is an extremely rare consonant.
 
* There are no voiced fricatives in Denobulan, although most speakers pronounce fricatives between two vowels as voiced phonemes, which are written phonetically as [β], [z] and [ɦ].
 
* There are no voiced fricatives in Denobulan, although most speakers pronounce fricatives between two vowels as voiced phonemes, which are written phonetically as [β], [z] and [ɦ].
* The bilabial fricative [ɸ] sounds like Federation Standard's [f] but does not include the lower teeth touching the upper lip.
+
* The labial approximant [ʋ] sounds like Federation Standard's [w] but a speaker presses their upper teeth on their lower lip.
* The aspirated bilabial fricative [ɸʰ] is pronounced with a puff following the consonant; this is a relic of the proto-language, where originally many more consonants had aspirated versions.
 
* The bilabial approximant [β̞] sounds like Federation Standard's [w] but does not include pushing the tongue back to the velar.
 
 
* The lateral approximant [l] never velarizes, unlike in Federation Standard (compare "<u>l</u>ab" and "ba<u>ll</u>", the latter is velarized).
 
* The lateral approximant [l] never velarizes, unlike in Federation Standard (compare "<u>l</u>ab" and "ba<u>ll</u>", the latter is velarized).
  
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| style="text-align: center;" | n'g
 
| style="text-align: center;" | n'g
 
| Like "si<u>ng</u>le" but word-initially.
 
| Like "si<u>ng</u>le" but word-initially.
 +
|-
 +
| style="text-align: center;" | [p͡f]
 +
| style="text-align: center;" | ph
 +
| Like the German word "<u>Pf</u>erd".
 
|-
 
|-
 
| style="text-align: center;" | [t͡s]
 
| style="text-align: center;" | [t͡s]
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| As in "Ja<u>ng</u>".
 
| As in "Ja<u>ng</u>".
 
|-
 
|-
| style="text-align: center;" | [ɸ]
+
| style="text-align: center;" | [f]
 
| style="text-align: center;" | f
 
| style="text-align: center;" | f
 
| As in "<u>F</u>ederation".
 
| As in "<u>F</u>ederation".
|-
 
| style="text-align: center;" | [ɸʰ]
 
| style="text-align: center;" | ph
 
| Like [ɸ] but with added puff.
 
 
|}
 
|}
 
</div>
 
</div>
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| As in "<u>H</u>irogen".
 
| As in "<u>H</u>irogen".
 
|-
 
|-
| style="text-align: center;" | [β̞]
+
| style="text-align: center;" | [ʋ]
 
| style="text-align: center;" | v
 
| style="text-align: center;" | v
 
| Close to "nuclear <u>w</u>essles".
 
| Close to "nuclear <u>w</u>essles".

Revision as of 18:51, 14 June 2019

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An example of the Denobulan script.

Denobulan (/də'noʊ.bju.læn/) or, natively, denobulan (Denobulan, /dɪ.nə.bŭ'län/) is the primary language spoken by Denobulans along with Federation Standard. Most Denobulans who grew up on the planet speak both the languages. The language has been heavily influenced by Federation Standard since the planet's entry to the Federation; some Denobulans prefer speaking Standard, even among other Denobulans. However, as part of the Federation, the number of non-native speakers has grown significantly.

Disclaimer

The language was seen and heard on-screen, but the writers have confirmed that those words and sentences had no system or grammar. The version of the language delved into here is merely inspired by what was seen, but is more realistic. The two versions will be incompatible. Sometimes, decisions made for this version of the language don't make much sense linguitically; often, this is to have an explanation for a weird thing in what was seen on-screen. Please reach out to User:Pholin before editing anything major. Also, feel free to reach out to User:Pholin if you want to learn the language, he will gladly help you if circumstances allow doing so.

Throughout this page, the International Phonetic Alphabet is used. For more information about that, please visit this article.

Phonology

For a non-linguistic summary of the phonology, click here.

Consonants

The following table shows the consonant phonemes of Denobulan:

Consonants Labial Alveolar Velar Glottal
Plosive p b t d k g ʔ
Pre-nasalized pl. ⁿd ᵑg
Affricates p͡f t͡s d͡z
Nasal m n ŋ
Fricative f s h
Approximant ʋ ɹ j
Lateral appr. l
Where symbols appear in pairs, the one to the right represents a voiced consonant.

Notes

  • Unlike Federation Standard, Denobulan doesn't aspirize its voiceless plosives. However, in some non-native dialects aspirization can be found.
  • The pre-nasalized plosives [ⁿd] and [ᵑg] are relics of Denobulan's proto-language and can only be found word-initially nowadays. Second language speakers often struggle pronouncing these two phonemes.
  • The [p] in the affricate [p̪f] is very soft, and might not even be pronounced depandant on the dialect. The distinction between it and the regular fricative [f] has disappeared in some dialects, even.
  • The affricates [t͡s] and [d͡z] are often pronounced as the palato-alveolar affricate [t͡ʃ] and [d͡ʒ] due to Federation Standard influences.
    • The affricate [t͡s] (or [t͡ʃ]) turns into an velar affricate [k͡s] after back and central vowels, written as <x> in the romanization.
    • The affricate [d͡z] is sometimes analyzed as dialectal, as it is an extremely rare consonant.
  • There are no voiced fricatives in Denobulan, although most speakers pronounce fricatives between two vowels as voiced phonemes, which are written phonetically as [β], [z] and [ɦ].
  • The labial approximant [ʋ] sounds like Federation Standard's [w] but a speaker presses their upper teeth on their lower lip.
  • The lateral approximant [l] never velarizes, unlike in Federation Standard (compare "lab" and "ball", the latter is velarized).
Denobulan's vowels visualized in a chart.

Vowels

There are eight vowels in Denobulan. The language also distinguishes some vowels by length. Long vowels are spoken for a longer amount of time and sometimes also differ in quality. The language has no diphthongs, meaning there can be only one vowel per syllable. The following tables shows the vowel phonemes of Denobulan:

Short Front Back
High ĭ ŭ
Mid ɪ -
Low ɑ̈
Long Front Back
High i u
Mid e
Low ä

Notes

  • All vowels have a short and long form, except [o̞], which has no short version.
  • High vowels [i] and [u] do not change in quality between short and long vowels. They only differ in length.
  • The mid vowel [ɪ] is the short form of [e], not to be confused with [ĭ]. It may also be described as a raised mid vowel [e̝], instead.
  • The mid back vowel [o̞] becomes the schwa [ə] when unstressed. In stressed situations, this vowel sounds like a mix of [ɔ] and [o], being between the two.
  • Vowels will be nasalized slightly when succeeded by nasal consonants. The nasal consonants afterward are still pronounced, though.

Romanization

Although Denobulan has its own script, the language can also be written in the Latin alphabet. This is called the romanization system. The 29 letters of the romanized alphabet are as follows:

a ah ai b ch d e ee f g h i j k l m n ng o oo p ph r s t u v y '

The following is a pronunciation guide for the Denobulan phonetic inventory. The examples do not always correspond to the Denobulan pronunciation exactly, as some sounds are not in Federation Standard.

IPA Latin Notes
[p] p As in "planet".
[b] b As in "Borg".
[t] t As in "T'Pol".
[d] d As in "Denobulan".
[k] k As in "Klingon".
[g] g As in "Gorn".
[ʔ] ' As in "uh-oh" - silence between them.
[ⁿd] n'd Like "scanned" but word-initially.
[ᵑg] n'g Like "single" but word-initially.
[p͡f] ph Like the German word "Pferd".
[t͡s] ch As in "chip".
[d͡z] j As in "Jefferies".
[m] m As in "Morn".
[n] n As in "nacelle".
[ŋ] ng As in "Jang".
[f] f As in "Federation".
IPA Latin Notes
[s] s As in "star".
[h] h As in "Hirogen".
[ʋ] v Close to "nuclear wessles".
[ɹ] r As in "Risa".
[j] y As in "Yar".
[l] l As in "Latinum".
[ĭ] i As in "Geordi".
[iː] ee As in "beam" - longer than [ĭ].
[ŭ] u As in "Pulaski".
[u] oo As in "room" - longer than [ŭ].
[ɪ] e As in "bit".
[e] ai As in "raise".
[o̞] o As in "computer".
[ä] a Close to "Lwaxana".
[ɑ̈] ah Close to "Lwaxana".

Notes

  • The voiceless alveolar affricate [t͡s] turns into a velar affricate [k͡s] when preceded by back vowels. This is written as «x» in the romanization.

Phonotactics

Syllables are formed by putting different phonemes together. The way of doing this varies by language, but a syllable is always made up of three parts. The onset are first consonants, followed by the nucleus which are the vowels, and another set of consonants which is the coda. Below is described which phonemes are allowed where. Overall, the language followes the following pattern:

C(C)V(C)

Where C is a consonant, V is a vowel, and the parts in brackets are optional. That means the simplest syllable possible is CV, while the most 'complex' is CCVC.

Onset

All consonants, including the nasal [ŋ] foreign to Federation standard, are allowed in the onset. There are also combinations of consonants allowed:

  • All plosives, excluding the glottal stop, and all fricatives, excluding the glottal fricative, can be followed by the alveolar approximant [ɹ].
  • All fricatives, excluding the glottal fricative, can be followed by the alveolar lateral approximant [l].
  • All voiceless plosives, nasals and approximants can be followed by a glottal stop. Often, a schwa is insterted between the consonant and the glottal stop.

Nucleus

All nine vowels of Denobulan are allowed in the nucleus. There are no diphthongs in Denobulan, so only one vowel per syllable. There is a form of vowel doubling, though. These only occur for [ä] and [u] and are written as "aa" and "uu" respectively. The first vowel is always a long vowel, followed by the short form of the vowel. The two vowels have a glottal stop in between them, meaning they are two different syllables.

Coda

Most consonants are also allowed in the coda of a syllable, only the pre-nasalized plosives and the glottal fricative are not. Please note that the coda is entirely optional.

Stress

Linguistic stress is defined as emphasis on a particular syllable (or word). This can be realized in several ways, but in Denobulan, a stressed syllable is emphasized by increase in loudness and pitch. For beginning learners, this may sound like all Denobulans are constantly asking questions by raising pitch for stressed syllables. On which syllable the stress of a word falls is determined by the following:

  • If a word has only one syllable, that syllable is stressed.
  • If a word has more than one syllable, one looks at the last two syllables of a word.
    • If one of those syllables has a long vowel, it is stressed.
    • If two of those syllables have a long vowel, the last is stressed.
    • If none of those syllables have a long vowel, the last is stressed. Next to that, the stressed vowel is also lengthened.

Script

Denobulan has its own native script, also a form of alphabet. The alphabet was custom crafted in preparation for the planet's unification. It was designed to be easy to learn and practical to write. Some have been critical though, because the lack of diversity in letters makes it hard to learn for dyslexic people. The script was designed in an era where typing was already dominating over handwriting, and was optimized for typing over writing. The script is made up of four characters, a small, a ringed, and a big circle, and a connecting line. All letters have two circles, and consonants have connecting lines with another circle. Below is the full Denobulan alphabet.

a ah ai b ch d e ee f g h i j k
a ah ai b ch d e ee f g h i j k
l m n ng o oo p r s t u v y
l m n ng o oo p r s t u v y

The glottal stop, which can be placed above vowels and voiceless plosives, are marked with a small circle above or below the letter, it's above vowels and most consonants but below the consonants which have a circle in the top spot already. The prenasalized plosives «n'd» and «n'g» are written as n-d and n-g respectively, with the 'glottal dot' below the letter, even though there is no true glottal stop. For the vowel doubling talked about earlier, one simply types the vowel to be doubled followed and the glottal dot above it. The second, doubled, vowel is left out. So, «aa» and «uu» are written as a- and u-.

Note: The script is supported on the wiki. Type in it by using {{Denobulan|textgoeshere|size=xx}}. For more info about the font, go to the template's page.