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Phon.rules for Gzarondan (to anglify the langname)

From:Adrian Morgan <morg0072@...>
Date:Friday, March 31, 2000, 2:23
I've found working out phonetic constraints etc
to be very difficult, because I have an abstract
feelfor what I want that doesn't reliably
translate onto paper.

Last night I wrote down a scheme which, if not
good enough to settle down with, is at least
good enough to receive feedback. Comments might
include features that seem odd or unnatural,
tips relevant to documentation, or comparisons
with existing languages.

It is necessary to briefly update/revise the set
of available sounds - some things have changed
(I did drop 'v' in the end and I have also
dropped consonantal 'w', using single 'w' for
the vowel that was previously 'ww'. Fortunately
my vocab is small enough to make changes easy.)

   Note: Herein I am mostly using anglified
   descriptions/spellings for letters and letter
   strings because my alphabet is not the topic
   under discussion.


There are eight short vowels, six long vowels,
five diphthongs not containing an 'l' and six
diphthongs of the form ShortVowel + 'l'. (The two
vowels you get from subtracting six from eight
are schwa and 'w'.) That's a total of 25 vowels
and diphthongs.

The following 21 consonants can appear:
     voiced   unvoiced
b/p   yes      yes
d/t   yes      yes
g/k   yes      yes
y     yes       -
h      -       yes
l     yes      yes
th    yes      yes
zh/sh yes      yes
z/s   yes      yes
f/v   NO       yes
m     yes       -
n     yes       -
r     yes       -

There is one diacritical mark, which provides
shorthands for some common sequences and avoids
ambiguities when single letters and double
letters are side by side. The following letters
can take the diacritical mark: 'b', 'd', 'k',
'l', 'p', 'r', 't', 'y'.


Allowing that prefixes and suffixes do not change
the stress of the root word, stress tends to lie:
* On the first syllable unless the second is
* On the first syllable to begin with a consonant
  in 'l', 'r', 'y';

Stress is not entirely regular.


Syllable structure is (Ci)V(Cf) where the C's are
essentially consonantal and V is essentially a

Ci may be:

* Any single consonant
* Any pair of consonants marked with & in the
  following table, read as [top] followed by [side]:

           s  f  g  k  d  t  b  p
       l | .  &  &  &  .  .  &  &
       r | .  .  &  &  &  &  &  &   [*]
       f | &  .  .  .  .  .  .  .
       k | &  .  .  .  .  .  .  .
       t | &  .  .  .  .  .  .  .
       p | &  .  .  .  .  .  .  .
       z | .  .  &  .  .  .  .  .
       s | .  .  .  &  .  &  .  .

  [*] May not precede vowel/diphthong containing 'l'

V may be:

* Any listed vowels or diphthong.

Cf may be:

* All single consonants except h, zh, r, z, y,
  voiced l, voiced th.
* The constructs nd, mp and nt.

Additional constraints:
* If Ci is a consonant followed by 'r' or 'l'
  then the following V may not contain an 'l'.
* There are a few syllables that are illegal in
  certain contexts and which, if produced by
  adding an affix, mutate according to rules
  that I have specified. (I think it would be
  unnecessary detail to give the list here.)



* Two vowels/diphthongs in a row
     - if produced by an affix, alternate form
       of affix will exist.

* Three consecutive consonants unless the first
  is 'm' or 'n'
     - middle consonant dropped

* {b,d,k,p,t} followed by {b,d,k,p,t,g,k}
     - first of pair mutates to g or k

* '-rVr-' where V = vowel/diphthong
     - the 'r' from the affix mutates to 'd'.

It doesn't make sense to follow a diphthong
ending in 'l' with the consonant 'l', or a
diphthong ending in 'q' (pron. like 'r') with
the consonant 'r'.