Tuesday, October 09, 2007
OK, we all know the unpronounceable foreign name shtick. No big surprise that Doonesbury plays the game. The pronunciation of Berzerkistan's leader may well look like a Tashlhiyt Berber word — ‘tgzmt’ and things like that are fine in the language. But if you look at the strings Trudeau uses, the spellings aren't that bad — there are enough sonorant consonants in there so that you could make them work, even as an English speaker. But what struck me was the initial [ptk] in the pronunciation. He just happened (I imagine) to pick the three lowest sonority sounds for which we have good symbols, and put them in order from front to back.