velar trill (was: ~Yeshuewu)

Mark Mandel thnidu at GMAIL.COM
Tue Jun 9 14:06:03 UTC 2009

> There is no IPA symbol for the sound. Â Apparently IPA covers only
> terrestrial languages.

> Yes, for that you'd have to use the EPA (Extraterrestrial Paraphonetic
> Alphabet), now under construction. Â It uses a quantum matrix of
> decillions of symbolic representations of a wide variety of codable
> media. Â A notable example is chemolfactory character set:
> " I'm imagining non-auditory languages. For example, one in which
> creatures emit chemicals and they smell each other. Imagine hundreds of thousands of chemical building blocks in a language. Very smelly."

I used to say with assurance that no human language would use this
phone (which I write phonetically as k with a tilde), at least
lexically, because the physical effort was too great. But as it came
with practice, I realized that that could be simply the same
lectocentrism that brands velar and uvular trills, clicks, front
rounded vowels, and any other phone that's not in own language as

There are attested (in sf) olfactory languages. The citation I'm
thinking of, though I can't recall the title or author, is at least 45
years old and features two humans and an alien who is "cabin boy" of
his ship. Since his actual name is literally unprintable, the author
nicknames him "Tommy Loy", and ends the story with a very shaggy

Klingon, however, was developedXXXXXXXX documented by a human
linguist, Dr. Marc Okrand, and is representable in IPA.

m a m

The American Dialect Society -

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