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Re: Proto-Conlang rough sketch (was: Re: First Post and . . . )

From:Alex Fink <a4pq1injbok_0@...>
Date:Tuesday, March 20, 2007, 20:44
On Tue, 20 Mar 2007 07:44:00 -0400, Jason Monti <yukatado@...> wrote:
>So, here's the final product: > >{b c d ð f g h j k l m n p r s t þ v w y z} + {a i u} + e + {l n r} + {bə c >də ðə_ f gə h jə k lə mə nə p rə s t þ və wə yə zə} > >Or more simply: (C)(a/i/u)e(l/n/r)(C)(ə) > >So now that original sample using only p and t becomes: > >aelt pae paelt >aent pael paent >aert paen paert >aet paer paet >elt pel pelt >ent pen pent >ert per pert >ielt pie pielt >ient piel pient >iert pien piert >iet pier piet >uelt pue puelt >uent puel puent >uert puen puert >uet puer puet > >There are only three limitations: > >1) /e/ cannot appear by itself in a CVC: it _must_ have at least one of the >six availble semivowels adjacent to it, so the smallest morphemes (in their >e-grade) are: /ae/, /el/, /en/, /er/, /ie/, and /ue/. > >2a) An initial /y/ cannot be followed by an /i/: no /yi/ >2b) However, /ya/ and /yu/ are possible initials. > >3a) An initial /w/ cannot be followed by a /u/: no /wu/ >3b) However, /wa/ and /wi/ are possible initials. > >The 3-grade system still stands: e-grade, o-grade, and zero-grade, but I now >have a total of six possible zero-grades, rather than four. In the >zero-grade, if the {l n r} is preceded with an {a i u} then it is the {l n >r} that become syllabic, not the {a i u}.
You're saying the zero-grade of a root with say [aen] will contain [a_^n_=], as opposed to [an]? That's pretty weird, and it goes against the sonority hierarchy, especially for a low vowel like [a]. It's not even clear what [a_^] might be -- perhaps a pharyngeal? For that matter, is [ae] an opening diphthong or a closing one?
>The grades will be based on gaining or losing stress: i.e., o-grade is >stressed, e-grade is defult, and zero-grade is not stressed. If stress >shifts from the o-grade, it becomes an e-grade. If stress shifts from an >e-grade, it becomes a zero-grade. Conversely, if stress shifts TO a >zero-grade, it becomes an e-grade, and an e-grade beomes an o-grade.
Simplistically it seems you have two ablaut patterns here, stressed [e] vs. unstressed [0] and stressed [o] vs. unstressed [e], so that no vowel in the same form ever has all three realizations as stress moves. What determines which vowels are zero-grade when unstressed, and which e-grade? I get the impression they're not meant to contrast in roots; so does the morphology select which vowel alternations any given derivative of the root uses? Alex