Gary Shannon wrote: >--- Tim May <[log in to unmask]> wrote: > > >>Gary Shannon wrote at 2004-04-09 18:02:14 (-0700) >> >> ><snip> > > > >> > Two people walk into a restaurant. One orders >>"frahd chikin pleez" >> > and the other orders "vroit jigun pliss" and the >>both get the same >> > meal delivered to their table. The power of >>language lies in the >> > fact that nuances of mouth noises are utterly >>irrelevant, so why >> > are so many people seemingly obsessed with >>something so irrelevant? >> >> ><snip> > > >>Pronunciation nearly irrelevant to communication? >>Obviously untrue. >>Pronunciation is the _only_ thing distinguishing one >>utterance - out >>of context - from another. If your restaurant-goers >>had pronounced >>their order as "The president of Chile has been >>assassinated" then >>they would hardly have been understood. But there >>is no difference >>other than the sequence of sounds produced by the >>speaker. >> >> > >Granted. But I was really wondering about the endless >discussions over differences that do NOT matter. >Certainly there are differences that are far enough >from the norm that they lose all meaning, and >differences so far from the norm that they take on >completely different meanings. But that's a whole >different subject. > >It seems to me that it is sufficient for any given >language to define the range of acceptable phonetic >values for a given meaning and leave it at that. I >doubt anyone would mistake my meaning if I talked >about Captain Kirk's run in with "Tlingon high >command." In English "Klingon" and "Tlingon" are >interchangable. > > Actually, 'Tlingon' would be a more accurate rendition of the original Klingon (tlhIngan);-).