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Lots of phonemes (was Re: Umlaut (was: More questions))

From:Jörg Rhiemeier <joerg_rhiemeier@...>
Date:Friday, November 28, 2003, 23:54

On Wed, 26 Nov 2003 20:56:40 -0500,
Paul Bennett <paul-bennett@...> wrote:

> WC8 is the most electic collection of phonemes I've put together, except > for two aborted projects, mQlò and the language which bore the name > Thagojian at the time (what you see me posting recently is more properly > Thagojian C). mQlò contisted of clicks, lateralisation of clicks, > prenasalisation of clicks (two kinds), four vowels, phonemic nasalisation > and phonemic tone. The original Thagojian had 224 (or 244? I forget) > consonantal phonemes (including valid homorganic consonant sequences) and > two vowels. Both were a priori.
224 phonemes? You are beating Danny Wier out of the field! But then, I too have a skeleton in the closet. For one project, I came up with the following monstrous consonant inventory: p b ph bh p' b' pf bv p'f b'v f v hm m pj bj phj bhj p'j b'j pfj bvj p'fj b'vj fj vj hmj mj pw bw phw bhw p'w b'w pfw bvw p'fw b'vw fw vw hmw mw p` b` ph` bh` p'` b'` pf` bv` p'f` b'v` f` v` hm` m` tl dl t'l d'l hl l tlj dlj t'lj d'lj hlj lj tlw dlw t'lw d'lw hlw lw tl` dl` t'l` d'l` hl` l` tr dr t'r d'r hr r trj drj t'rj d'rj hrj rj trw drw t'rw d'rw hrw rw tr` dr` t'r` d'r` hr` r` t d th dh t' d' ts dz t's d'z s z hn n tj dj thj dhj t'j d'j tsj dzj t'sj d'zj sj zj hnj nj tw dw thw dhw t'w d'w tsw dzw t'sw d'zw sw zw hnw nw t` d` th` dh` t'` d'` ts` dz` t's` d'z` s` z` hn` n` tsh dzh t'sh d'zh sh zh tshw dzhw t'sjw d'zhw shw zhw tsh` dzh` t'sj` d'zh` sh` zh` t. d. t.h d.h t.' d.' ts. dz. t's. d'z. s. z. hn. n. t.w d.w t.hw d.hw t.'w d.'w ts.w dz.w t's.w d'z.w s.w z.w hn.w n.w t.` d.` t.h` d.h` t.'` d.'` ts.` dz.` t's.` d'z.` s.` z.` hn.` n.` kj gj khj ghj k'j g'j hj j hnh nh kjw gjw khjw ghjw k'jw g'jw hjw jw hnhw nhw kj` gj` khj` ghj` k'j` g'j` hj` j` hnh` nh` k g kh gh k' g' x gx hng ng kw gw khw ghw k'w g'w hw w hngw ngw k` g` kh` gh` k'` g'` h` ` hng` ng` q qg qh qgh q' qg' qx qgx qw qgw qhw qghw q'w qg'w qxw qgxw `h ` `hw `w ' h 'w hw Unless I have mis-counted, that's 304 consonants. However, that project never went anywhere past this consonant inventory, but was ditched immediately after. It was far too unwieldy, and if I had carried on, I would have wound up not using the majority of those 304 phonemes in any word. And I know very well about the difference between a huge phoneme inventory and an interesting phonology. In my "Q" project, I use a very tame inventory. Proto-Q has the following phonemes: p t c b d g ph th ch i y u s h m n ñ e ø o l r a v j As you see, it's just 18 consonants and 7 vowels. The fun is in what I *do* with these 25 phonemes. You have seen some of what happens earlier in this thread, and in my second post in the thread "Some Proto-Quendic grammar". And I can promise you that there is a bit more going on. Greetings, Jörg.


Andreas Johansson <andjo@...>