4

So a mate of mine recently started watching Star Trek Voyager, and when we were discussing the show he called Tuvok, Tuvak. I questioned him about it and he said that's how they pronounce it on the show. So started listening carefully and I can sort of see what he's saying but it could just be the American accent.

I pronounce the “o” like the “o” in “clock”. My mate pronounces the “o” more like the “a” in “cat”. Listening to the show again it seems like they (particularly Janeway, pronounce the “o” more like the “u” in “truck”.

So how is Tuvok actually pronounced?

8

Your use of 'mate' suggests you speak a British- or British-descended English. I'll proceed on that assumption.

Have a look at this list of Lexical Sets for UK and US English, in particular the LOT row. UK 'RP' (as that table calls it) uses /ɒ/ for this vowel sound; note that CLOCK is in the LOT set, so when you talk about " the “o” like the “o” in “clock”" , this is what you're talking about.

Next, see that US 'GenAm' (General American) uses /ɑ/ for this vowel sound. Now, this sound doesn't appear in the RP column, but /ɑː/ does - this is the 'lengthened' version of the same sound, and is what RP uses for BATH (Southern England) and START. So a 'short' 'AR as in START' is how GenAm realises the LOT vowel - do a bad American accent and you will see what I mean.

And so this is how the same word can be correctly pronounced by different people in different ways - both you and, say, Torres are using the same LOT vowel, it's just those sounds are different.


Incidentally, try and imagine Riker saying 'Tea. Earl Grey. Hot'; he wouldn't say sound like Picard when he says "Hot", but he's still saying the same word...

  • Yes you are correct; I have an Aussie accent, glade you picked that up. You're answer has been very helpful because of the comparison with different characters and the different accents. I think I've actually improved my American accent a little now too because of this A 😛 Thanks – br3nt Nov 9 '16 at 21:09
9

The pronunciation of Tuvok corresponds to the way Spock is pronounced.

  • See and that's what I figured too... a lot of Vulcan names have that similar ending – br3nt Nov 9 '16 at 6:42
8

"Like the o in clock" is correct.

Listen to how differently the British and American accents make it sound - the crew of Voyager have American accents, so make it sound like an "a" to those used to a British (or related) accent.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.