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Some questions on phonology

From:Falcata Lusa <falcata.lusa@...>
Date:Monday, October 13, 2008, 11:49
If we could go back in time and see (and hear) the first speaking hominids,
what do you think their sounds could be like?

Which points of articulation could they probably use for their pulmonic
consonants? More labial or more laryngeal?
Which manner of articulation? Would the fricative be the most common? Or the
plosive? Or other?
Would this consonants be more likely voiced or unvoiced?
Would they have click consonants in their language?

All of this questions have to do with this:
I have been working for a while on a phonology for my new conlang. I refer
to it as KLT, will probably be kalata, but I haven't decided yet.
It was supposed to be spoken by a small Neanderthal population, who lived on
south-western Europe during the Upper Palaeolithic.
I'm looking for a pleasant yet plausible phonology for my conlang and I
reached a moment where my present knowledge on linguistics is not enough to
decide which ones I should or shouldn't include. So I hope you would share
your ideas and thoughts with me.

If I were to use this set of consonants and clicks...
p, t, k, q, b, d, g, G\
m, n, J, (with N, N\ as allophones of n before velar and uvular consonants
s, S, X, h
r, R\,
l, L
|\, !\, |\|\

...which of this groups of vowels/semi-vowels would be appropriate and why?
First option:
i, @, a, u
w, j (as alophones of u and i)

Second option:
i, a, u
w, j (as alophones of u and i)

Third option:
@, a
w, j

fourth option:
(any other combination)

What other consonants do you think are missing in the group, or which ones
are dissonant. Why?
(for the Phonetic transcription I used CXS, from

Two last questions, somehow related to the above writing:
Is there a study on the chronology of consonants? Which ones appeared first
and why?
Is there a study on the chronology of vowels? Which ones appeared first and

Falcata Lusa


R A Brown <ray@...>
Carl Banks <conlang@...>
Philip Newton <philip.newton@...>