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Re: Conlang puzzles (Was: Re: New monster word in Maggel ;))))

From:julien eychenne <eychenne.j@...>
Date:Saturday, August 3, 2002, 7:16
En réponse à Christophe Grandsire
>> > [m@'gE:l] It features again the "lengthening g" :)) . And |a| is >> reduced to >> > [@] like in many unstressed cases. >> >> Is the "lengthening g" a purely orthographic convention? >> > >Synchronically yes. It's one of the ways to lengthen vowels (another is adding >a |o| *after* the vowel), and the only way lengthened diphtongues are marked. >Diachronically things may have been different in the past, although I frankly >don't know what diachronic process could have led to such a strange convention >(or maybe it was just a pure invention of some scribes to make their texts more >ornamented. In the uncial-based alphabet used to write Maggel (which is still >used nowadays, the speakers of Maggel seems not to like very much the plain >fundamental style :)) ), the |g| is indeed a letter easy to transform into a >piece of art :))) . >
Well, I was just wondering if a you could not imagine that it turned to a voiced velar fricative (no problem here)then either to a voiced velar approximant or spirant (or even spirant > approximant) or to a uvular fricative (to me, it seems phonetically possible ) and then voiced uvular spirant. Whichever way you choose, I think it's easy to get a voiced uvular spirant close to french turned R (the voiced velar fricative/spirant/approximant can become uvular). Then it is really easy to make it disappear and get a compensatory lengthening. For example, the sound can become underspecified from the point of view of its articulatory properties, so it would be close to (voiced) h (I'm sorry I'm here under windows and my brackets don't work with this mailer :( ), just like french s became h, then schwa and then lengthening effect on the preceeding vowel (hostel > hôtel). But I think there are plenty of ways to explain this mutation, the only problem I see is that it should be m! otivated, I mean that it should happen in a given set of contexts (only before another consonant for example), and ideally under the pressure of another sound ( for instance a uvular G turning to g could push off g to a spirant). I don't know if it will be helpful. Julien