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JIAL phonology and morphology

From:John Cowan <jcowan@...>
Date:Friday, May 4, 2001, 18:45
When an "auxlang contest" was proposed here (even though it doesn't
look likely to come off), I got inspired and came up with an idea
for an IAL.  I don't know the final name yet, so I'm using "JIAL"
(John's IAL) as a temporary name.

I'm posting technical details (absolutely no puffery,
I promise!) here, initially about the {phon,morph}ology.

For the syntax and the vocabulary, I will be re-using existing
material (details later), but the lower levels are novel in detail,
if not in general outline, and I'd appreciate peer review.

The syllable structure is CV.  All letters have IPA
values except "c", which is [S].

The Cs are:

voiceless/aspirated/fortis stops:  p t k.
voiced/unaspirated lenis stops/voiced fricatives:  b d g.
voiceless fricatives:  f s c x.
nasals: m n.
lateral: l.

The Vs are the usual a e i o u.

All monosyllabic words are unstressed, and serve as function

All longer words are stressed on the first syllable.  There
is a rule of vowel harmony for such words:  the final syllable
always *disagrees* with the initial syllable, and the medial
syllables, if any, always *agree* with the initial syllable.

In this way, all words are self-segregating: a non-monosyllabic
word begins with a stressed syllable and ends on the first
disagreeing syllable: any further unstressed syllables
before the next stressed syllable are monosyllabic words.

The agreement rules are:

first  medial  final   harmony
=====  ======  =====   =======
a      a,e,o   i,u     low
e,i    a,e,i   o,u     front
o,u    a,o,u   e,i     back

So, for example (using capitalization for stress):


segregates as:

        Ba palomenu se tilanu cu dogabopi xino.

A few statistics:

There are 13 * 5 = 65 monosyllables.
There are 13 * 5 * 13 * 2 = 1690 disyllables.
There are 13 * 5 * 13 * 3 * 13 * 2 = 65910 trisyllables.
There are 13 * 5 * 13 * 3 * 13 * 3 * 13 * 2 = 2,570,490 tetrasyllables.

Which provides for 2,638,155 words, comfortably more than any
language needs.

There is / one art             || John Cowan <jcowan@...>
no more / no less              ||
to do / all things             ||
with art- / lessness           \\ -- Piet Hein