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Monster phonology in need of romanization help

From:John Vertical <johnvertical@...>
Date:Monday, June 9, 2008, 21:33
Without further ado…

/    t_> ts)_> tK)_> tS)_> k_> q_>  /
/p   t   ts)   tK)   tS)   k   q   ?/
/b_t d_t             dZ)_t g_t G\_t /
/b_v d_v                            /
/f   T   s     K     S     x   X   h/
/v_t D_t z_t   l_t   Z_t   G_t R_t  /
/v_v D_v z_v   l_v                  /
/m_0 n_0             j_0   w_0 R\_0 /
/m_t n_t       l~_t  j_t   w_t R\_t /
/m_v n_v       l~_v  j_v   w_v R\_v /

_t is "brethy voice", _v is "tense voice"; this distinction has a variety of
realizations in dialects. The palatoalveolars are only marginally contrastiv
with lhaterals & especially velars.

/i i\ u/
/e @   /
/ a  A /

/i~ i\~ u~/
/e~       /
/ a~   A~ /

/ai  ei  @i Ai/
/ai\ ei\ @u Au/

/   i@     u@   /
/e6 i6 i\6 u6 o6/

/ai~ i@~ e@~/

…Modulo dialectal variation; this is an exhaustiv "standardized" inventory.

Syllable structure allows only CV or initial syllabic N.

Okay, onto the issue. Here's what I have for the consonants @TM:
<t' ts' tx' c' c' k'>
<p t ts tx c c k q>
<b d j g>
<&#384; &#273;>
<ph th s x ch ch kh h>
<bh dh z l jh gh>
<&#384;h &#273;h &#438; &#322;>
<pm tn ç f kr>
<bm dn ln y v gr>
<&#384;m &#273;n &#322;n ? ? &#485;r>
In general, I like the obstruent system — but the sonorants are just fugly,
and even that aside I lack vee with stroke and wy with stroke. I'd like to
spell the series a la <mh m m'>, and might even swap a lone apostrophe for
/?/ then, but that has the issue of using <h> both as a fricativizer and a
devoicer, which is Bad. I wouldn't want to scratch my bee dee zed & ell with
strokes for <b' d' z' l'>, either. <fm> (or <mf>) could work slightly better
than <pm>, but this solution doesn't seem to be easily extensible to the
whole set. Any ideas?

As for the vowels, I have two competing ideas. No diacritics are used —
they're reserved for tone. I may go into the details at another time;
suffice to say that there's five tonemes that collapse to three on the
surface level, _L _R _H, and it's these three that are spell'd out: [a_L a_R
a_H] = <a â á>.

Scheme 1: Straightforward
Monofthongs spell'd as per IPA, except /i\ A/ = <y o>. Difthongs spell'd by
their components, except a final /6/ as <a>, /ai\ ei\/ as <au eu> and /i@
u@/ as <ie uo>. Nasality by syllable-final <m> or <n>.

Main problem here is not that it's boring, but that it clashes with my
current consonant scheme. I would have room to change <y u> to <u w>, but
that does not seem enticing.

Scheme 2: Digraphy
/i i\ u/ = <ei eu ou>
/e @ a A/ = <ea e a aa>
/@i @u i@ u@/ = <ii uu i u>
/ei ei\ ai ai\ Ai Au/ = <eai eau ai au aai aau>.
/e6 i6 i\6 u6 o6/ = <ee ie ue uo oo>
Nasality as before.

This isn't too confusing, is this? If it isn't, I've considered changing
<eau au aau> to <eo ao aao> or even <eo o ao>.

I could probably form some sort of a combination of the two without too much
trubble; I'm particularly fond of the 2nd solution for the high monofthongs.

John Vertical


ROGER MILLS <rfmilly@...>