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pschroeter
2010-Jul-31, 03:36 AM
I am reading the book Mars Life by Ben Bova. Could someone help me with the pronunciation of these locations:

Tithonium Chasma
Hellas Planitia
Tharsis

My candidates:
Tie thoe neum Chaz mah (Kaz mah)
Tih thoe neum
Heel lass Plah nee shah
Hell lass
Thar sis or Tar sis

In the book there is a substantial research base exploring the ruins of a long gone Martian civilization in the wall of Tithonium Chasma. I might as well be pronouncing it correctly if I can. I enjoyed Bova’s two previous Mars books as well.

Shaula
2010-Jul-31, 07:55 AM
Tithonia = ti-thoh-nee-uh so I'd guess ti-thoh-nee-um
Hellas = hel-uhs
Planitia = pluh-nee-shuh
Chasma is probably Kaz-mah from Chasm = kaz-uhm
Tharsis = thahr-sis

See dictionary.com for these - and they have sound clips of some of them.

Buttercup
2010-Jul-31, 08:40 AM
Tithonium Chasma - Tith-oh-nee-um Kas-mah
Hellas Planitia - Hell-us Plan-ee-shee-uh
Tharsis - Thar-zis

That's how I'd pronounce them unless corrected by official version.

geonuc
2010-Jul-31, 12:11 PM
Tithonium Chasma - Tith-oh-nee-um Kas-mah
Hellas Planitia - Hell-us Plan-ee-shee-uh
Tharsis - Thar-zis

That's how I'd pronounce them unless corrected by official version.

Thar -zis? Why zis and not sis?

Shaula
2010-Jul-31, 02:06 PM
Bearing in mind Tharsis is a latinate form of Tartessos and ss is not a Z sound in Greek... In Greek a single s can be a z sound but a double can only be ss, ts or ks. So Thar'tsis, Thar'ksis, Thar'tsiz, Thar'ksiz, Tharssiz would all be more likely than Tharzis. If you accept the theory that it came over via a Semitic form (Aramaic IIRC) then its intermediate was Tarshish. Still no Z there.

Jens
2010-Jul-31, 02:31 PM
That's how I'd pronounce them unless corrected by official version.

It's a nice thought, but the problem is that in English, we have no "official" body that can make decisions. So in English, there isn't really an official version in any case. Things happen by consensus.

With the Latinate words, the problem is the same thing that you get with "Paris." Should the "s" at the end be pronounced or not? Should we be pronouncing these words in accordance with English rules or in accordance with the originals?

Shaula
2010-Jul-31, 03:03 PM
With the Latinate words, the problem is the same thing that you get with "Paris." Should the "s" at the end be pronounced or not? Should we be pronouncing these words in accordance with English rules or in accordance with the originals?
By Latinate I mean proper Latin, not this vulgar Romance language stuff with silent letters and arbitrary rules! I think Tharsis was a Romanised form of Tartessos. Either way in old Greek and Latin it would have been an S sound. Do we say Knozos? In fact ss became a transliteration for z in later Latin but not the other way around. It was used to replace Z which the Greeks had all along and appear to have pronounced 'dz'. So the only way a Z would creep in would be if Tartessos was a lost word rediscovered by later Latin speakers who mangled its pronunciation by assuming their own rules for pronunciation applied. And then it would be Thar'dzis, with a buzzing fricative in the middle that is more like a French j sound (as in Jean).

Buttercup
2010-Jul-31, 03:03 PM
Thar -zis? Why zis and not sis?

Guess my tongue and brain want to automatically put a "z" sound after "thar". :) Might be from regional upbringing.

Gillianren
2010-Jul-31, 06:24 PM
It's a nice thought, but the problem is that in English, we have no "official" body that can make decisions. So in English, there isn't really an official version in any case. Things happen by consensus.

I've not read the book, but if it's out of a book, the author in theory gets final say. If it's scientific terms, there must logically be an agreed pronunciation so scientists from around the world know what anyone's talking about.

Nereid
2010-Jul-31, 07:45 PM
Let's find us some planetary scientists, preferably ones who specialise in the study of Mars. How they pronounce the various names, is, by definition, the correct pronunciation (at least for that speech community).

And if there are variations in pronunciation among these folk, then those variations are also, by definition, all correct pronunciations.

whimsyfree
2010-Aug-01, 12:59 AM
I've not read the book, but if it's out of a book, the author in theory gets final say.

That's absurd. Anyone can use a word they didn't invent in a book (such as "Tharsis"). It doesn't make them the owner.


If it's scientific terms, there must logically be an agreed pronunciation so scientists from around the world know what anyone's talking about.

There's no more a world-wide pronunciation for every scientific word than there is for every word in general.

Gillianren
2010-Aug-01, 03:10 AM
That's absurd. Anyone can use a word they didn't invent in a book (such as "Tharsis"). It doesn't make them the owner.

If the author created the word, it is at least in theory the author's word to pronounce. Which is what I meant.


There's no more a world-wide pronunciation for every scientific word than there is for every word in general.

Of course not. But there are agreed pronunciations of Latinate words within the scientific community. Biologists all over the world know how to pronounce the same binomial nomenclature terms. They just won't agree on the common names in their own languages.

AndreasJ
2010-Aug-01, 06:58 AM
Of course not. But there are agreed pronunciations of Latinate words within the scientific community. Biologists all over the world know how to pronounce the same binomial nomenclature terms. They just won't agree on the common names in their own languages.

Not really. Biologists speaking different languages will pronounce the same binomina differently, sometimes radically so.

Gillianren
2010-Aug-01, 08:55 AM
Well. I was mistaken, then. Thank you for the correction, though on further thought, it makes sense. After all, there are sounds in Latin-ish or Greek-ish which don't exist in a lot of other languages.

Jens
2010-Aug-02, 03:03 AM
If the author created the word, it is at least in theory the author's word to pronounce. Which is what I meant.


I think that's basically right. The author has the rights to the work. So just to take an extreme example, if a book were to made into a movie, and the author insisted that even a common word be pronounced differently from normal, say "the" as "duh," then I think the decision would stand, though it might be protested. This can be seen in other languages, where authors sometimes add a "pronunciation key" to indicate that a word is pronounced differently from normal. But in English the written word and pronunciation are far apart, so we usually don't think of this issue very much.

In English, for example, the word Nike is written the same for the god and for the sports brand, and you might pronounce it in different ways, but most commonly the same way. But in Japanese, they're pronounced differently, actually written differently. The god is pronounced "knee-kay," whereas the sports brand is "nigh-key."

Nereid
2010-Aug-02, 06:13 AM
I think that's basically right. The author has the rights to the work. So just to take an extreme example, if a book were to made into a movie, and the author insisted that even a common word be pronounced differently from normal, say "the" as "duh," then I think the decision would stand, though it might be protested. This can be seen in other languages, where authors sometimes add a "pronunciation key" to indicate that a word is pronounced differently from normal. But in English the written word and pronunciation are far apart, so we usually don't think of this issue very much.

In English, for example, the word Nike is written the same for the god and for the sports brand, and you might pronounce it in different ways, but most commonly the same way. But in Japanese, they're pronounced differently, actually written differently. The god is pronounced "knee-kay," whereas the sports brand is "nigh-key."
How do you pronounce Nokia? Specifically, is the stress on the first syllable, or the second? Also, does the first vowel rhyme with that in knock/lock/dock, or with that in no/know?
AFAIK, the answers vary according to speech community, even in places where English is the dominant language ...

Jens
2010-Aug-02, 06:18 AM
How do you pronounce Nokia? Specifically, is the stress on the first syllable, or the second? Also, does the first vowel rhyme with that in knock/lock/dock, or with that in no/know?
AFAIK, the answers vary according to speech community, even in places where English is the dominant language ...

Do you mean me or do you mean Japanese? In Japanese it's pronounced like know-key-ah, and it's hard to say about stress because (like Finnish) Japanese is not a stress-timed language. It has something else that I think is called "pitch," but I think it would be pronounced fairly flat in this case. Personally in English I pronounce it the same way, with the stress on the first syllable.

Nereid
2010-Aug-02, 06:24 AM
Do you mean me or do you mean Japanese?
Anyone, anywhere in the world.


In Japanese it's pronounced like know-key-ah, and it's hard to say about stress because (like Finnish) Japanese is not a stress-timed language. It has something else that I think is called "pitch," but I think it would be pronounced fairly flat in this case. Personally in English I pronounce it the same way, with the stress on the first syllable.
Which, AFAIK, is how it's pronounced in many parts of the world, English-speaking or not ... but by no means all.

AndreasJ
2010-Aug-02, 07:25 AM
I say ['nɔkːia] (approximately KNOCK-ee-ah). Wikipedia says the Finnish is [ˈnɔkiɑ].

(I'd be hard pressed to tell the difference, but vocalic and consonantal length are independently contrastive in Finnish, so I guess they'd think I'm saying "Nokkia". Unless they're all like that Finnish guy I spoke with who thought Swedish long consonants are so short as to sound more like Finnish short ones than Finnish long ones.)