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Vallian (was: How to minimize "words")

From:John Vertical <johnvertical@...>
Date:Friday, February 23, 2007, 10:24
>I'm trying to get rid of pronouns;
Well yeah, you could handle personal and demonstrativ pronouns by way of affixes, but relativ pronouns would probably be much tuffer to do away with (and then there're the hi'er-lexicality pronouns like "both"... tho that specific one might be replaceable with a verbal affix.)
>3. Since there is a single final consonant cluster incorporating a nasal >(viz.) -nt, representing PNC by HN + VLC (e.g. _-mp_) would be ambiguous; >to >avoid ambiguity, I could represent final nasalised stops by either HN + VC >( >e.g. _-mb_ or simply by VC, e.g. -b. However, to me this seems ugly; I'd be >interested in others' opinions.
If it's /nt/ [nt] vs /nd)/ [nd], what's so ugly about <nd>?
>4. Whilst using HN + VC presents no problem for stops and fricatives >(_-nd-_, _-nz-_, etc.), a problem arises when transcribing liquids, nasals, >and rhotics, particularly in HTML, since combinations like [nr] and [rm] >readily appear in the language anyway, and the Roman alphabet/HTML/ASCII. >Have others solved this problem?
I don't think any natlang contrasts nas+son clusters with prenasalized sonorants in the first place.
>5. Palatalised consonants, even in the face of words like "atja" /atja/ >(bird) are easy, since the Roman alphabet has both j and y, which can be >used for either palatalisation or a [j] phoneme, and "j" is not used for >anything else (such as Z, the "s" in "pleasure"). However, combinations >such >as "nyk" and even "nyj" are ugly and are apt to be pronounced by English >speakers as "nick" and "nidge" anyway - any thoughts? (Perhaps palatalised >consonants in clusters (and at the end of words) should be denoted by -j- >instead of -y-?)
Didn't you say you don't have /j/, only /v\/? Seems OK to me however, <j> feels "more consonantal" than <y> anyway. CF Hungarian however, which doesn't seem to have problems marking palatals with <y> but /j/ with <j>. But I agree that, say, "Gyorgy" does not really look monosyllabic.
>6. Labialised and aspirated consonants also present a problem, since the >language can have both aspirated "t" and "t" followed by "h" (and other >combinations) and the Roman alphabet has no variations on h or w analogous >to the j/y split. Any suggestions?
Again, I thought you didn't _have_ /w/? And as for the aspirates, there's the Pinyin solution- use <b d g> for unaspirated stops, <p t k> for aspirated. That would mess up the orthography for the prenasals (unless prenasalized aspirates do not exist?), but a possible fix could be to transcribe stops preceded by a nasal _also_ as prenasalized: so /nd)/ = <nd>, /n.d/ = <nnd>.
>(Maybe I could make a rule that, say, >"lh" represents aspirated /lh/ and that an /l/ followed by a ("full") /h/ >=> >"lk"?)
Aspirated sonorants? I'm not sure if contrasting those with sonorant+h clusters is a good idea in the first place, but in a similar fashion, how about /lh)/ = <lh>, /l.h/ = <lhh>??
>Two^H^H^Hthree^H^H^H^H^Hfour! things I forgot to mention: > >1. (...) various palatals (as opposed to palatalised consonants)
Hooold it. You contrast palatals, palatalized consonants AND consonant + j clusters? /J nj) n.j J.j/? Geez, no wonder you're having orthography problems. :)
>and maybe an underline would do for the retroflex consonants?
Or an underdot?
>Does anyone have more than rhotic, and if so, how do you represent it?
"More than one" you mean? I currently have <rx> for lone /R\/ in uwjge (plain <r x> are /r x/, and /R\/ in clusters does not contrast with /r/ so it can be written as plain <r>); previously r-circumflex. There was also a phase where I didn't bother writing the distinction at all.
>The main problem I see is that C could become seriously overloaded: one >system I have considered using involves "c" for /ts/, c-caron for /tS/, >c-dot for the palatal plosive and c-cedilla for the palatal fricative; does >anyone (else) think this could be seriously confusing?
Well, not seriously, but maybe a bit.
>I am open to using "x" for the velar or uvular fricative, but whichever I >represent with it, what about the other, and what could I use to avoid >writing "ks" at the end of words?
Would <kh qh> be too generic? (And as per abov, then transcribe /h/ in clusters as <hh>.) There's also h-bar for something maybe. Or <j> for /x/, as per Spanish (you could then switch to <i> for /j/ or <'> for palatalization...)
>I would also like to be able to use some single letters for affricates (the >ones I envisage using are /ts/ /tS/ /tT/ /cC/ and maybe /kx/ /qX/. Any >ideas?
I do think c with or without a caron would do well for the first two; maybe t-bar (or d-bar, if there's an aspirated counterpart to also transcribe) for /tT/. /cC/ looks like a bad idea in the first place if you also have all of /tS) tj) c kj)/, but c with acute could do. /kx) qX)/ are a bit too unusual for there to be any good glyphs, so let's roll out the bad ones... Number sign and ampersand? This isn't going to be looking any less kitchensinky anytime soon. :b
>2. I'm toying with the idea of getting rid of Finnish's neutral vowels and >adding /M/ and /7/, and maybe /E/ /V/ and some variation on /@/ (all in >X-SAMPA) as well. How about u-tilde, o-tilde (as in Estonian and Voro), and >e-umlaut for /@/?
Sounds good to me, better than i-umlaut/e-umlaut/e-breve at least.
>If you have /E/ and /V/ in your language, how do you >represent them?
You could consider digrafs with <a>, ae ao ligatures, or a dot under <e õ> (this last one is after the example of some Bantu langs.)
>3. Tone: I'm also toying with tone. I have an idea that I could use an >acute >accent for high tone on vowels w/o umlauts, and a circumflex for high tone >on vowels w/ umlauts - but what if, instead of two-tone (high and low) >system, I want to have a three-tone (high, mid, and low) or more >complicated >system?
a) Switch umlauts for digrafs (the French solution) b) Switch the circumflex for dubbel acute & grave (the Hungarian solution) c) Stacked diacritics (the Pinyin solution)
>4. Oh, and I almost forgot, Vallian has /consonant gradation/!
Neat. Was there a question in there however?
>PS As an aside: I've talked about palatalised, prenasalised, labialised, >and >aspirated consonants; Wikipedia reports that there are also languages which >have post-nasalised (bn) and pre- and post-stopped nasals (pn, mp). I'm not >aware of any language that uses pre-palatalised or pre-labialised >consonants. Anyone?
Labzn/ palzn are coarticulations, not pre- or post-anything. I suppose you could have eg. /jp_j/, but initially that'd probably turn to [Cp_j] or [ip_j].
>Also, are there any languages that use pre-fricativized >consonants? > >I.e., given a language in which "pam" could be a word, but not "pram" >(because of a restriction on consonant clusters in initial position) are >languages any words in which "spam" could be a word, despite the >aforementioned restriction, due to pre-fricativized consonants? > >Jeff
I dunno any examples, but I recall that at least /st/ has been quoted to act seemingly as a phoneme in some languages. But you could just consider that strange phonotactics too. John Vertical _________________________________________________________________ Uutiset ja kasvot uutisten takaa. MSN Search, täyden palvelun hakukone.


Jeff Rollin <jeff.rollin@...>