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natlang stuff: vowelless words

From:Danny Wier <dawier@...>
Date:Tuesday, April 20, 1999, 15:45
Since I've been studying this, I'll mention something that might
interest you, and one or more of you might have this in a conlang...

Russian (and other Slavic languages) have a few words made up of one
consonant and no vowel.  These are all prepositions:

_v_ "in; at; to"
_k_ "to; toward" (with dative)
_s_ "with, accompanied by" (with instrumental); "from" (with genitive)

And I think there's a _z^_ /Z/ used in literary registers; I believe
it's an emphatic particle.  It also appears as _z^e_.

Again, these are considered independent words, but functionally
they're more like prefixes, since they always occur before nouns,
pronouns, and adjectives.  Rules of assimilation cause _v_ to be
devoiced before words beginning with voiceless consonants, and _k_
and _s_ to be voiced before voiced stops.  Also, longer forms of
these words exist with vowel; they are used before words with complex
initial consonant clusters: _v_ < _vo_; _k_ < _ko_; _s_ < _so_.

Any other natlang examples of this, and also conlangs?


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