Mudcat Café message #1136491 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #67852   Message #1136491
Posted By: Q (Frank Staplin)
14-Mar-04 - 08:45 PM
Thread Name: Any glottal stops down your way?
Subject: RE: Any glottal stops down your way?
The 'apostrophe,' when indicating a glottal stop, is more correctly labeled a 'hamzah.' It is the conventional way of marking a glottal stop in words from the Hawaiian language. It must NOT be confused with the apostrophe in contractions such as didn't or won't, where the glottis is not closed. Stephen R explains its sometimes 'k' equivalent in other Polynesian tongues, but it is not the same as English 'k' in lock, because the glottis is not completely closed, as brucie points out.
Brucie, the word LOCH in Scottish pronunciation does come close, a good approximation for English-speakers who do not have the glottal stop.
In written Hawaiian, the hamzah is important; e. g., ao is light whereas a'o is to teach. Ia is he, she or it while i'a is a fish.

Some Hawaiian words are fairly easy (Hawai'i), others are very difficult without practice (ake'ake'a, to hinder). We have to slow down between the syllables, distorting the word.

Elided words, such as many of the examples given in this thread, are not examples of words with glottal stops. We really don't have them in English. Meagher, pronounced mah er, is elided, without any glottal stop.