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From:Mark J. Reed <markjreed@...>
Date:Monday, March 20, 2006, 2:28
No, really!  I haven't done anything in a while with my conlangs, but
here I go.  This post is actually on-topic!

I begin by noting that I tend toward very boring phonologies.  Of my
langs, the only one that's not a straight up Spanish-style phonology
is Okaikiar, and that's only because it has no phonemic laxity/voice
distinction and an odd rule about when the voiced/unvoiced allophone
is chosen (voiceless next to schwa).

So I'd like to do something a bit more interesting.  Baby steps,
though, because I'm new at this.  I thought I'd start with a little

But not vowel harmony.  Consonant harmony.  Is that even a term?  Is
it still "assimilation" when it's operating long-range?  Is it still
"metaphony" if it's consonants instead of vowels?

I got the idea from my toddler, who has anticipatory consonant harmony
in some words.  For instance, "airplane" becomes [p@plein] and
"helicopter" (which he tells me is a "funny airplane") becomes
[keikApt@`r\].... (The syllable loss comes from a regular modification
in his speech; he can't say [l], but says [j] instead.  So Eli -> Eji
-> ei...)

I was thinking that I would use prefixes whose consonants would adjust
to the POA of the root word's first consonant.  So /na-/ would still
be [na-] in front of /doSu/, but would become [ma-] in front of
/bEki/, [Na]- in front of /kora/, etc.

So, what natlangs do this?  What is it called, if not "consonant harmony"?

It seems like the sort of thing likely to be found in the
Gaelic/Celtic continuum...

Mark J. Reed <markjreed@...>


Paul Bennett <paul-bennett@...>