Re: Needed: Fresh eyes for phonology
|From:||Dirk Elzinga <dirk_elzinga@...>|
|Date:||Wednesday, March 27, 2002, 23:12|
At 6:55 PM -0600 03/26/02, Peter Clark wrote:
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> With all this talk regarding the most beautiful of
>phonologies, I thought,
>"Hey, time to look at Enamyn's phonology again." It was at that point that I
>realized that Enamyn is really Tolkienesque. Judge for yourself:
>Plosives: /p b t d k/
>Nasals: /m n/
>Fricatives: /f v T s S x/
>Laterals: /l K/
>Affricates: /ts tS/
>Vowels: /i E a o M/ (/M/ represents unrounded /u/, and I am thinking of
>de-rounding /o/ to /7/...)
> Please note that I am not aiming for the most beautiful
>phonology. If I
>were, /tS/ would be right out. (Of course, the careful reader will note that
>absence of /g/ and of all voiced fricatives, save /v/ :)
> I've gone over the IPA chart numerous times, and I cannot
>think of what
>could be added, subtracted, included, whatever. Possibilities considered and
>rejected: Palatization (too much like Russian), velarization (I don't hear
>the distinction well enough), pharyngealization (too much like Klingon),
>implosives and ejectives and clicks and retroflexes (ridiculous for the
> I don't know. Maybe someone will see a pattern in there.
>Maybe not. Maybe
>I'm just crying over a beer (except I don't drink beer--wine yes, beer no)
>and need someone to tell me that my little language will grow up just fine.
>:) Comments welcome.
I think it's too early to tell what the *patterns* are, since you
just have an inventory of sounds. (As for the absence of voiced
fricatives, if you ditch /v/, you can introduce a process of
intervocalic voicing for fricatives.)
Something else to think about is to limit the distribution of the
sounds you do have. For example, you might introduce a phonotactic
constraint which would prevent all but /t,d,s,l,L,r/ from appearing
in syllable codas (following a vowel within a syllable); that is,
forms like /.mil.pa./, /.bos.ni./, and /.ka.pit./ would be legal, but
forms like /.mip.la./, /.sob.ni./, and /.ka.tip./ would not be. Or
limit syllable codas to fricatives, etc; there are other
possibilities. (BTW, this is one way that Quenya does look a lot like
Finnish -- there are similar (though not identical) coda
Or you could start creating some vocabulary and see what patterns emerge.
Dirk Elzinga Dirk_Elzinga@byu.edu
Man deth swa he byth thonne he mot swa he wile.
'A man does as he is when he can do what he wants.'
- Old English Proverb