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On Tue, Sep 05, 2000 at 02:21:38PM -0400, Steg Belsky wrote:
> On Tue, 5 Sep 2000 09:23:54 -0400 Yoon Ha Lee <[log in to unmask]> writes:
> > ObConLang: Do y'all deal with butchered foreigners' names in your
> > conlangs?  :-)  By some strange coincidence, my name is entirely
> > pronounceable in Chevraqis.  My boyfriend's name is a nightmare (but
> > then, his last name is Betzwieser, which is a nightmare in Korean,
> > too).
[snip]
> Rokbeigalmki generally picks the closest phoneme to the strange foreign
> one and uses that.  Since it has a large phonemic inventory that isn't
> always necessary, though.
[snip]

My conlang has a large phonemic inventory too; however, it has a lot of
restrictions, esp. in which consonant clusters are allowed. So far, the
only allowable consonant clusters are labial/velar followed by a liquid (l
or r). So, although it would be quite easy to spell out a foreign name
pretty accurately in the language, the native speakers would have a very
hard time pronouncing it right. (They may not like the way you spell it,
too, and accuse you of "abusing" their language. :-P)

Also, foreign names would necessarily be inflected by the consonant/vowel
contouring that is used for native nouns. So the end result is pretty much
completely "butchered" anyway, e.g.:
  Peter -->     epii'tr3 (root)
                --> epii'tr0, epii'tru, epii'tra, ep33'tr3, epii'tri
  Margaret -->  emag3ree't (root)
                --> em3g3ri0't, emag3reu't, emag3raa't, emag3r33't, em3g3rii't
  Andrew -->    ee'dru ("ndr" is illegal, so the "n" drops out)
                --> ei'dr0, ee'dru, eadra, ee'dr3, ee'dri
  Esther -->    eeT33'r (again, "s-th" is illegal, so it becomes the
                equivalent of "th")
                --> eiT30'r, eeT3u'r, eeT3a'r, eaT33'r, eiT3i'r

Pronunciation guide: (for those of you who actually bother to read this
stuff :-P)

e = open front vowel                    i = half-close/open front vowel
p = unvoiced bilabial (non-aspirate)    t = unvoiced dental (non-aspirate)
r = "half" trill (like in English)      m = nasal bilabial
u = rounded close back vowel            3 = half-close/open middle vowel
d = voiced dental                       T = aspirated unvoiced dental
0 = open back vowel                     a = open middle vowel

There are *no* diphthongs. Doubled vowels are long vowels; adjacent vowels
are pronounced with a glottal stop between them, e.g., "ea" is pronounced
as two separate sounds, "e" and "a".

If you actually manage to pronounce those names, you'll see (or hear!) how
"butchered" they are compared to the original forms. :-)


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