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Cwendaso diphthong+vowel combinations

From:Isidora Zamora <isidora@...>
Date:Friday, September 19, 2003, 1:26

Five new nouns and six new prefixes later, I'm back with yet another
phonological demonstration.  This time it's diphthong+vowel
combinations.  Here are my preliminary suggestions (and let me know if it
looks like I've mistyped something in the examples.  I'm prone to typos in
the first place, and I'm typing this particular piece with a migraine,
which is throwing off my visual tracking.  I do touch-type, but when my
eyes aren't tracking well, it's difficult to be looking back and forth
between my notebook and the screen.)

By adding the prefix nngei- [N"gei], meaning 'recently' to yesterday (or is
it the day before yesterday's) verbs, we get:

<indumo> --> <nngeindumo>     'to speak'  'to have spoken recently'
<edmta> --> <nngeidmta>     'to wear'  'to have worn recently'
<awekh> --> <nngeyawekh>  'to jump'  'to have jumped recently'
<ontelaku> --> <nngeyontelaku>     'to tear'  'to have torn recently'
<uvtekhes> --> <nngeyuvtekhes>     'to hear'  'to have heard recently'

The next is a set of 5 new nouns created for this excercize to go along
with the diminutive prefix apai-, also created for this excercise.  I got
lucky when I assigned meanings to the nouns.  Three of them are the names
(or part of the names) of characters.

<idhlon> --> <apaidhlon>     'heron'  'little heron'
<ezlai> --> <apaizlai>     'sapling'  'little sapling'
<adm> --> <apayadm>     'branch'  'little branch'
<okhr> --> <apayokhr>     'bear'  'little bear'
<usdm> --> <apayusdm>     'cooking pot'  'little cooking pot'

(Something unrelated, but of note, is the [d] in <usdm>.  Here it is
realized as [d] to match the voicing of the /m/, but if the word is
resyllabified, which it will be if a suffix beginning with a vowel is
added, it will become unvoiced to go with the /s/, as in <ustmad> 'a great
many cooking pots.'  I'm not certain that the underlying voicing can be

Now we're back to verbs again, with the emphatic prefix koi-

<indumo> --> <koindumo>     'to speak'  'to speak emphatically'
<edmta> --> <koidmta>     'to wear'  'to really wear'
<awekh> --> <koyawekh>     'to jump'  'to jump high'
<ontelaku> --> <koyontelaku>     'to tear'  'to tear violently'
<uvtekhes> --> <koiuvtekhes>     'to hear'  'to really hear'

(I know, a couple of these examples sound a little dorky being performed
emphatically, but these were the verbs that I had on hand.  By now, you
know as many verbs in the language as I do.)

So I've now done the three diphthongs ending in [i] and the results seem to
be that following a diphthong ending in a high front vowel, a following
front vowel is absorbed; and before a non-front vowel a the final [i] in a
diphthong will become a glide.  Remarkably consistent.  Does everything
check out and seem like a plausible way of doing things?

The next step are the three diphthongs ending in [u].  I'll start with
[eu], which I can barely pronounce.  (Hopefully this rather awkward fact
doesn't affect the results too much.)  The prefix is teu-, meaning frequently.

<indumo> --> <tewindumo>     'to speak'  'to speak frequently'
<edmta> --> <tewedmta>     'to wear'  'to wear frequently'
<awekh> --> <tewawekh>     'to jump'  'to jump frequently'
<ontelaku> --> <teuntelaku>     'to tear'  'to tear frequently'
<uvtekhes> --> <teuvtekhes>     'to hear'  'to hear frequently'

The next set are with the prefix ntau-, meaning 'again.'

<indumo> --> <ntawindumo>     'to speak'  'to speak again'
<edmta> --> <ntawedmta>     'to wear'  'to rewear>
<awekh> --> <ntawawekh>     'to jump'  'to jump again'
<ontelaku> --> <ntauntelaku>     'to tear'  'to tear again'
<uvtekhes> --> <ntauvtekhes>     'to hear'  'to hear again'

The last set is with the verbal prefix khatou-, meaning 'suddenly'.

<indumo> --> <khatowindumo>     'to speak'  'to speak suddenly'
<edmta> --> <khatowedmta>     'to wear'  'to wear suddenly'
<awekh> --> <khatowawekh>     'to jump'  'to jump suddenly'
<ontelaku> --> <khatountelaku>     'to tear'  'to tear suddenly'
<uvtekhes> --> <khatouvtekhes>     'to hear'  'to hear suddenly'

(And, admittedly, 'to wear suddenly' is a concept that doesn't make much
sense, but it was the verb I had available for that vowel.)

What seems to be happening here is that when there is a diphthong ending in
[u] followed by a vowel, if it is a back vowel, it will be absorbed, if not
the [u] from the diphthong will turn into a glide.  That is perfectly
consistent with what we saw with the other set of diphthongs.  Any problems?

To finish up, I think I need to create a suffix beginning with [eu] (how
does -eum sound?) and try it out with each of the five vowels since I
didn't recognise [eu] as a diphthong when I did the post on vowel+diphthong
combinations.  I'm not going to give the suffix a meaning because  the
headache is a lot worse than it was when I started writing this post, and I
can hardly think straight now.  These examples will probably be incorrect,
and I am going to go lie down after they are written.

<ngati> --> <ngatyeum>
<dovde> --> <dovdeum>
<pra> --> <praim>
<ldo> --> <ldoim>
<tadhu> --> <tadhweum>

As I said, I think that there are some problems with this last batch, but a
nasty migraine is nothing to mess with, and this one is getting nastier by
the minute.  Bye for now.