Re: natlang stuff: vowelless words
|From:||R. Nierse <rnierse@...>|
|Date:||Thursday, April 22, 1999, 5:48|
Danny Wier wrote
> 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?
I know of some Amerindian languages that have words without vowels:
Bella Coola: qqs 'eye'
Kwakiutl slq' '(some kind of) fish'
These are words that can't be shouted.