Silurian language update: Consonant sounds
Here is a website that will let you make the funny (IPA or international phonetic alphabet) characters you see below: http://ipa.typeit.org/full/
Note: letters found between /_/ are the IPA sound symbols (some I have provided the ‘or you can use this’ because I know writing these characters out is annoying and time consuming) while the bold letter in the word after it is an example word for you to say out loud to heard the sound in question. So /d/ is the symbol for the sound and the ‘duh’ sound in dog is what that symbol corresponds too.
See the end of this list for an explanation of what the Astrix’s mean; and for further explanation of phonetics.
Silurian Consonant Sound List
/d/ - dog
/f/ - for
/g/ - go [as of right now I have reserved this sound to be specifically used for tenses; currently this sound will become the Silurian version of ‘ing’ but this is subject to change]
/h/ - hen
/dʒ/ or /j/ - join [the dʒ character is used because typically the /j/ symbol is for the ‘yuh’ sound like in ‘yet’. I am undecided on which symbol should be the norm. If the fandom chooses to use the /j/ symbol then we do not have to worry about yet another funny symbol… but it will require that we use the /y/ for the ‘yuh’ sound. See below for more details]
/k/ - king
/l/ - let
/m/ - mad
/n/ - name
/ŋ/ - ring
/kw/ - queen
/r/ - row
/ɾ/ or /rr/ - a rolling /r/ sound. Such as rouge (word for red) in French or perro (word for dog) in Spanish (*)
/s/ - say
/s̋/ - super high pitched /s/ sound. Made with the lips pulled back so you are baring your teeth, it is a warning sound added into a sentence/word to add inflection or meaning; when used on its own it means ‘stop’ or 'stay back’. (**)
/s̀/ - very similar to the normal /s/ sound but made with the tongue pressed against the bottom teeth, [as of right now I have reserved this sound to be used for tenses; specifically for the verb conjunction of 'they’ but this is subject to change]. (**)
/ʃtʃ/ - Rolled /s/ sound, sorta like a baby rattle (or a rattle snake), forked tongue is most likely required for production. (**)
/ʃ/ or /sh/ ship
/ʒ/ beige - kinda like a jz sound
/ɬ/ or /hl/ - voiceless alveolar lateral fricative, (click link to hear sound) it sounds like a strongly articulated version of the English L or what and H+L would sound like. (*)
/ɮ/ or /zh/ - voiced alveolar lateral fricative, (click link to hear sound) it sounds like a strongly articulated version of the English Z or like 'zah’. Lots of air escaping around the tongue (*)
/tʃ/ or /ch/ - chew
/t/ - to
/θ/ or /th/ when it is voiceless like in the word think
/ð/ or /th/ when it is voiced like in the word them (it makes your lips tingle)
/ts/ tisk - noisier T sound; sorta like starting to make a T then making an S (**)
/v/ - vote
/w/ - wise
/ks/ - extra
/j/ or /y/ - yet [the /j/ character is used to represent the ‘yuh’ sound due to the fact that in MOST languages this is the case (English being an exception) if we decide to use the letter J for the ‘juh’ sound instead of the funny dʒ symbol, then we MUST agree to use the /y/ for the ‘yuh’ sound or this will get complicated very quickly. I am in favor of using the ‘y’ character for the ‘yuh’ sound and the dʒ character for the ‘juh’ sound but if you have an opinion please let me know]
/z/ - zoo
(*) sound not used in English but is a sound humans can make and can be found in IPA
(**) Sounds I completely made up on my own, you will not find them in IPA
Sounds Silurians do not have and/or do not use:
/p/ like in ‘pot’ and /b/ like in ‘boy’
Why do they not use them?
Honestly there is no reason why they can’t use them, but I decided to exclude them for a number of reasons.
1. So far none of named Doctor Who Silurians have had either a /p/ or a /b/ sound/letter used in their named. I’ve included a list:
2. Additionally, none of the fanfiction writers whom have created Silurian words have used either of these two sounds. Again, here’s a list (and the words meanings/ who created them)
Words by Lyricwrites from livejournal in the story Torpor
- Seraz - Rock
- Aesh - My
- Nel - Good
- Shcho - Stay
- Kirosha - Lover but also means Junior
- Areska - Lover, but also means Senior
- Tsokesh - What one feels when their scales are stroked in the wrong direction
- Icha - literally means ‘eggs’ but has come to mean ‘here’
3. /P/ and /B/ are both ‘plosive’ or ‘puff’ sounds, meaning there is a ‘puff’ of air required to make the sound. I personally feel like these two sounds are out of place when coming from the mouths of reptilian humanoids. We expect more hiss-type sounds, not ‘puff’ sounds.
4. I’ve developed a little headcanon that young Silurians whom aren’t that good at controlling their venom/tongues yet often make a ‘puff’ sound (so a /p/ or a /b/) when they shoot out their tongue… as a result the /p/ and /b/ sound are generally not used in the Silurian language so as to avoid accidental tongue misfires (for the hatch-lings at least) and/or because they remind Silurians of aggression.
5. Dinosaurs lacked lips, they can’t make the ‘puff’ sounds.
6. We’ve got a LOT of sounds to work with as it is; we don’t need these two.
Basic Phonetics Explained + Other questions
What do you mean by ‘voiced’ and ‘voiceless’ sounds?
A voiced sound means that your vocal chords are vibrating when you are making the sound; your vocal chords do NOT move when you make a voiceless sound.
Best way to understand this is by example.
First, take two fingers and gently place them on your throat (where an Adams apple might be).
Second, make the /k/ sound like in the word king. You shouldn’t feel any vibration, at all, because this is a voiceless sound.
Now make the /g/ sound like in the word go. You should feel your throat vibrate slightly; this is a voiced sound.
‘Alvelor’, ‘lateral’, ‘fricative’ ?? what’s all that about?
Its IPA terminology that is used to describe the exact location, placement, and process used to make a phoneme (or sound). If you really want to learn more I can talk to you about it one on one.
Where are the vowels?
I’m still working on them and I will post them when I’ve got them all figured out. I decided to post the consonants separately because I did not feel the need to overwhelm the green tea fandom with everything at once. I promise to create a Silurian language masterpost with everything included as soon as I’m done.
What about Silurian grammar?
Actually, Lyricwrites has already established a basic sentence structure for me to build off of. They used the phrases ‘Seraz Aesh,’ and ‘Seraz Nel, Shcho’ in their Torpor fanfic. This means that the sentence structure of Silurians is similar to German in that it goes (object) (adjective) (verb). So a literal translation of the two aforementioned sentences are ‘rock my’ and ‘rock good, stay’ respectively.
Once we have the vocabulary we can just put it in that order and we’ll have a very basic grammar structure to work with. [Lyricwrites, if you ever read this I can not thank you enough because I am TERRIBLE at creating grammar structure]
That said, we are a small enough community that if we put our minds together we could all agree on something; so if you have any suggestions by all means fire away.
And the tenses, are you going to make that up too?
Working on it! Right now it is in really rough shape and needs a lot of love and care. I’m much better at creating the sounds and alphabet then developing the structure of everything.
Because I am terrible at learning other languages I’ve decided to base Silurian off of the Spanish verb conjunction model. By that I mean there will be a single sound or letter added to words in order to differentiate between for; Me, You, We, Him/Her, and They – but other then having some random letters designated to each of these (such as /s̀/ for ‘they’) I’m still working on developing this particular element of the Silurian language.
As for the /g/ sound being used for ‘ing’ - my plan is to literally take a verb (such as Shcho or ‘stay’) and add ‘g at the end of it.
So putting it all together: in Silurian to say ‘they stayed’ you’d take the word ‘Shcho’ and add an /s̀/ and then a ‘g to the end to make it be Shchos̀’g.