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Telona's grandish entrance

From:Jonathan Knibb <jonathan_knibb@...>
Date:Friday, April 12, 2002, 16:01
Roger Mills <romilly@...> wrote:
Jonathan Knibb wrote: 2. mushroom (edible) ketide - edible or otherwise but defined by appearance, not by strict mycological criteria :) 3. I often go searching for mushrooms in the forest. Ha con rei k+AOk-li cynasae m+AOg-taisa webi ewetide. et al., snipped..... Has an interesting sound to it. But have I missed some explanation of the phonology? What determines whether +AF8-ketide+AF8- vs. +AF8-ewetide+AF8-? a neat alternation-- I hope not a typo +ADs--) <<< It certainly isn't! And thanks for asking. The syntactic part of the answer to this is that there are three 'operators' as I call them (I think Telona syntax is sufficiently unlike any natlang syntax for me to have to invent my own terms for these things!). Between each pair of adjacent words in a sentence, there lies one of these operators. The consonant alternations occur as part of the realisation of two of the operators (the third appearing as a zero morpheme). The phonological side is that there are regular alternations between two series of consonants, called 'hard' and 'soft' for want of better names. They go like this (hard >< soft): p >< m t >< l c >< n k >< w b >< f d >< s r >< ch 0 >< h The phonetic values are the same in X-SAMPA as in the orthography for [p t c k b d s m n l h]. Otherwise, f = [f\], r = [4], ch = [x], and most relevantly to your question, w = [M\], i.e. a voiced velar approximant with lip-spreading. I'm aware that the alternations are a little unorthodox, but hey, it's my language and it doesn't have to look naturalistic if I don't want it to :)) With this in mind, the actual answer to your question is that 'ewetide' is morphologically '+ketide'. A word beginning with a hard consonant and preceded by the + operator gets a harmonising vowel prefix and the consonant softens. The point of the + operator in the phrase 'webi ewetide' is to allow 'webi' (look for) to semantically govern 'ketide' (mushroom). 'Webi ketide' would mean 'a mushroom looking for something'. Does that make sense? Thanks again for your interest. Jonathan. 'O dear white children casual as birds, Playing among the ruined languages...' Auden/Britten, 'Hymn to St. Cecilia'