The Dothraki language has 20 consonants, 4 vowels and 2 glides.
|ch||t͡ʃ||ch||check||can be aspirated|
|k||k||k||kill||can be aspirated|
|r||ɾ, r||rr||trilled when at the beginning of the word and followed by a vowel; at the end of the word; when doubled; tap medially elsewhere|
|t||t̪||t'||stop, top||can be aspirated, dental|
Apart from names, the letters p, b, u and x do not appear in the ortography of diegetically modern Dothraki, and c appears only in the digraph ch.
For phonemes that are marked with digraph, the geminate has a reduced ortography, eg. kkh instead of khkh. This does not affect the pronunciation, these are geminates just as any others.
|Plosive||t [t̪]||k [k]||q [q]|
|Voiced Plosive||d [d̪]||g [g]|
|Voiced Affricate||j [d͡ʒ]|
|Voiceless fricative||f [f]||th [θ]||s [s] sh [ʃ]||kh [x]||h [h]|
|Voiced fricative||v [v]||z [z] zh [ʒ]|
|Nasal||m [m]||n [n̪]|
|Glide||w [w]||y [j]|
The digraphs kh, sh, th and zh are all fricatives, while ch and j are affricates.
Doubled consonants are always pronounced geminated.
Dothraki has four phonetically distinct vowels:
There are no diphthongs or long vowels.
As in any natural or natural-aspiring language, there are some phones in Dothraki that are considered - and even heard - the same with each other.
Some phonemes change according to the surrounding phones, to ease the pronunciation.
- As [q] sound is produced far in the throat, if there is a vowel immediately following, that vowel shifts considerably - so much so, that we have opted on marking this shift in IPA pronunciation guides in vocabulary.
Dothraki normal after q i i e e e ɛ o o ɔ a a ɑ
- In syllable-final position, h [h] shifts to [ħ]
- Stop produced at the same region of mouth as the fricative following it changes to geminate of the fricative. This can occur when words are derived, especially when compounds are formed. The changed consonant cluster is marked in the ortography.
There is no definite line between complementary distribution and free variation; some variation happens always when the surrounding phones call for it, some may happen. Some variation is indifferent of the surrounding phones.
- While Dothraki has no labial plosives, [p] or [b], both of these have been available in the past and have developed into [f] and [v], respectively. The [p] and [b] phones can still be met as free variants of f [f] and v [v], and should generally go unnoticed.
- With only four vowel phonemes, Dothraki vowels have more room to shift than in most languages. They should be treated as little less precisely placed than eg. vowels in English.
- Following velar consonant, k [k], kh [x] or g [g], o [o] may shift as far as to [u].
- Voiceless stops, t [t], k [k] and q [q] even ch [t͡ʃ] may be aspirated.