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Re: Monster phonology in need of romanization help

From:John Vertical <johnvertical@...>
Date:Sunday, June 15, 2008, 14:24
On Tue, 10 Jun 2008 17:18:09 -0400, ROGER MILLS wrote:
>John Vertical wrote: >>Without further ado� >> >>Initials: >>/ 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. >Aargh! This IS complex. (First off, i keep thinking "_t" is _tense_...)
Blame whoever designed X-SAMPA for that!
>>The palatoalveolars are only marginally contrastiv >>with lhaterals & especially velars. > >That may be, but unless one or the other is extremely rare, or conditioned >(even partially so), IMO you still need a way to distinguish them.
I'm trying to go for a Romance style system here, <ca ce> = /tSa tSe/ and so on forth. Currently it seems the exceptions to the distribution are /a/ not counting as front, and palatoalveolars occuring before shwa & sometimes back vowels. But adding whatever I spell /j/ as should deal with that. Alternately, I could limit this to just the fricativs & spell /tS dZ/ as <tch djh> or therearound, since I'm spelling the other affricate series also by components. That's also unambiguous wrt/ palatalization because there's no /tx dG/!
>>Okay, onto the issue. Here's what I have for the consonants @TM: >><t' ts' tx' c' c' k'> (ejective stops/affric.) >OK t' ts' _tl'_ c' _k' q'_
I've never really liked <tl> for /tK/, mainly because I'd like to have distinct base letters for /l K/.
>><b d j g> >bh dh jh gh (breathy vd.stops/affric) > >><ƀ đ> >b d (tense vd stops)
This was my first idea, but after I saw how well dashes for the obstruent series worked, I switched. That also leaves <h> for other functions. Granted, if I spell /h/ as <h> this is the most logical digraph function… Your another idea of spelling the tense series as geminate seems useful, at least in ASCII environment.
>><ph th s x ch ch kh h> > f th s l-bar ç x qh h (vl.frics) >><bh dh z l jh gh> > vh ðh zh lh çh gh (brethy vd.frics)
Maybe I should clarify; the problem is not in thinking of *an* orthography, but a *satisfying* one. What I don't like with this sort of "most common phonetic spelling" system is the erratic usage of <h> sometimes as a fricativizer, sometimes as a devoicer, sometimes as a brethizer (?). I don't think thorn & edh really fit into the flavor I'm going for here, either. So what does that leave for /T D/? I need <z> elsewhere, and apparently also at least dee slash. Tee slash isn't too bad by itself but in context stands out just as bad as <th>… unless I spell everything applicable with a h-digraph? I also notice I did not explicitely specify that similar to <ch>, <jh> is currently being used for both /Z G/. Somewhat unsatisfying, but I need something left for the uvulars, too.
>hm hn hy hw hr (vl.nasals/resonants) >mh nh nl yh wh rh (breathy vd.nas/cont.) >m n l y w r (tense vd. nas/res)
Not bad... I have not considered distinguishing prefix/postfix <h> before. BTW, I was originally going for only 2 sets of sonorants, but decided to go for three after all. This may still change when I examine how different dialects realize the series & their diachronic origins. Say, if there's one to have modal voice for the "tense" series, the voiceless/brethy distinction may be a bit too much to also support. I also realize now my previous phonological analogy p : bh : b :: hm : mh : m (if you get my drift) is incorrect; a fully symmetric system would be rather along the lines of p' : p :: b : bh :: m : mh. Maybe a third set can still exist, but only as a lexical set similar to BATH (cross-dialectally, but never phone*ically distinct from both of CALM and TRAP).
>Re vowels etc. I understand the need for no diacritics, since you're going >to use them for tones-- but have you considered some other way of marking >tone? Perhaps: low XX- rising XX/ high unmarked >That would free up diacritics for the vowels
You mean using actual dashes and slashes? That would look more like a weird syllable division than tone marks, IMHO.
>>Syllable structure allows only CV or initial syllabic N. >Is the language monosyllabic???
No, roots are generally bisyllabic, and a word may have up to two prefixes (with a highly limited phonetic form) plus a so far indeterminate number of postfixes (with more freedom).
>Do you mean the initial syllabic N can occur before a consonant?
Not only it can, it must, because an onset consonant is compulsory for a syllable.
> In that case (if not monosyllabic) how would you distinguish say > vs. = [] ???
Well, the former doesn't occur; a syllabic nasal may ONLY occur as a word-initial prefix (one might say they're morphologically conditioned allophones of N@).
>You might use Vy and Vw for some of the diphthongs.
Always an option, sure.
>>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>. > >Actually I like this. You might end up with "yy" as a word-- odd, but clear. >> >>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. >??????
I generally don't like <y> or anything else standing for both a vowel and a consonant, especially not for ones that aren't allophonic.
>>Scheme 2: Digraphy >>/i i\ u/ = <ei eu ou> -- but why digraphs for /i u/??? eu is good, but I >>see I want to use it for a diphthong..........
Wellll, I just wanted to use <ou> = /u/ in some project, and I didn't really have room for it elsewhere. After that <ei eu> just suggested themselves.
>>/e @ a A/ = <ea e a aa> maybe ee e a aa ???
Well this is supposed to be a somewhat historical orthography; all former long vowels difthongize so <ee> for /e/ won't do. <e> would be logical but then I'd need the actual shwa for /@/. Actually, do I? I need to examine if I could just use eg. <a>. Its occurrence is rather conditioned by the foot/tone structure. Also, IIRC it can only occur with lo tone, hence something like <ä> would also work. No, checking my notes, that's just the [@] allophone, [6] may still receive other tones.
>>/@i @u i@ u@/ = <ii uu i u> --> ei eu ie ue > >>/ei ei\ ai ai\ Ai Au/ = <eai eau ai au aai aau> --> eei eeu ai aeu aai aau >>/e6 i6 i\6 u6 o6/ = <ee ie ue uo oo> --> eea ia eua ua oa (your i\6=ue is >>odd)
>>This isn't too confusing, is this? >No worse than Dutch :-))))) >I hope I haven't added to the confusion.... and now me brain hurts :-))))
No, thanks for the help. My brain tends to hurt too when thinking too much about this, which has led to this project going in "delayed" status… %#*:7 John Vertical