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Re: CHAT: Another NatLang i like

From:John Cowan <cowan@...>
Date:Friday, June 25, 1999, 15:07
Sally Caves wrote:

> What do either of you mean, exactly, about wrong words getting into > the lexicon? I'm curious. I know that vowel harmony in Turkish > requires > that vowels in a previous syllable match the following syllable, or > something like that, but how would that situation (more than any other > morphology) affect your problem with "wrong words"?
I take it to mean that vowel harmony is not internalized, and therefore, when making up words, Nick and Boudewijn find themselves introducing polysyllabic vocabulary items which violate the announced vowel-harmony rules. (I have similar problems with the restrictive Piat phonology.) International vocab also plays hell with vowel harmony, as most of it comes from un-harmonizing languages. Qyrgyz (Kirghiz) is perhaps the most difficult sort of vowel harmony known: every vowel in a given word must agree on both front/back and rounded/unrounded scales, and there are 8 vowels, i e =FC =F6 y a u o. So if the first vowel is either =FC or =F6, *all* the other vowels must be either =FC or =F6. Ditto for y and a, u and o, i and e. Note that y is not /y/ but barred-i. -- = John Cowan Schlingt dreifach einen Kreis um dies! / Schliesst euer Aug vor heilig= er Schau, Denn er genoss vom Honig-Tau / Und trank die Milch vom Paradies. -- Coleridge / Politzer