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*mumble* *grumble* sound changes *mutter* (longish)

From:Benct Philip Jonsson <bpj@...>
Date:Friday, April 28, 2006, 13:39
Henrik Theiling skrev:

> > In a (remote) future version of the script, stress will probably be > directly supported. Benct had to do some complicated stuff, too, to > handle stress, I think. I did not need it, since stress is always on > the first syllable in my file, but I did put it onto my TODO list.
(A bit longish) I think one useful thing to do, and hopefully easy to program(?), would be to make it possible to define a macro group the members of which will be ignored unless explicitly invoked in the match or context, and into which one could throw stressmarks, lengthmarks, aspiration marks and other character/character sequences that have a "diacritic"/modifier function. That way one can write a rule like g > j / _ '? (i,e) without the '?, and g becoming j before unstressed unstressed front vowels alike, since one normally wants such changes to apply regardless of whether the vowel is stressed or not. If one for some strange reason would want to formulate the odd rule that g becomes j before an unstressed but not before a stressed front vowel you could write a catching rule first: g' > _ g > j / _ (i,e) What actually happened in Swedish and Norwegian was that velars became palatal fricatives only before stressed front vowels, and I think that the most natural thing for languages would be that a context-sensitive (usually assimilatory) change happens either regardless of stress or only under stress, while such a change happening only in unstressed context is extremely unlikely. (Writing the stress mark after the vowel would simplify a case like the one above, but you do have cases like G > j / (i,e):? _ -- in Old English or x > ç / (i,e,ä,ö) :? _ -- in German where you have to use that pesky and easily forgotten ? quantifier again. Thus the best thing would be if one could omit "diacritics" where they don't matter. I thought that it would be a good idea to somehow programmatically flag a syllable for stress, like a condition, but how would the program know that the stress applies to a certain syllable (unless you keep the word in an array ("con" => "secondary stress", "vo" => "unstressed", "lu" => "primary stress", "tion" => "unstressed") -- maybe that *is* the way you handle conditions? In the end (and beginning) you will anyway need to put the stress (and possible un-stress) marks as characters into the string, in order to in/output them in a human-readable manner. (I'm not a programmer, this is not programming advice. It is linguistic advice, though...) BTW your subrule precedence principle is great! I could write the Swedish vowel shift in the order things actually happened: a: > o: -- a: isrounded and raised o (C,V) > _ -- short o is not affected o: > u: -- long o: is raised u > ü -- old u, long or short, is fronted. Without subrule 1 feeding subrule 3, which in turn does not feed subrule 4! Yeah! -- /BP 8^)> -- Benct Philip Jonsson -- melroch at melroch dot se "Maybe" is a strange word. When mum or dad says it it means "yes", but when my big brothers say it it means "no"! (Philip Jonsson jr, age 7)


Henrik Theiling <theiling@...>
Roger Mills <rfmilly@...>