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Phonology of a Whistle-Lang (was: Sound changes)

From:Steg Belsky <draqonfayir@...>
Date:Tuesday, August 27, 2002, 16:43
On Tue, 27 Aug 2002 09:59:15 -0400 "H. S. Teoh" <hsteoh@...>
> 85 tones! Hmm that could make for an interesting conlang. I will > probably > add 3 more tones to that, and then we can have a pianolang. :-P
> T
- ZJZJZW! (a greeting) Actually, recently i've been thinking about a whistle language that could be written in the Latin alphabet without needing crazy digraphs or diacritics. Here's what i've come up with: Whistle-Lang has both voiceless and voiced phonemes. It is based on a three-tiered tone system of High, Middle, and Low. All phonemes (whistlemes?) should take around the same amount of time to pronounce/produce; therefore the flat tones can be 'long' by being repeated. Here are the phonemes, with their orthography: (since they all have pretty much the same place of articulation, they're categorized by style) Flat: j = L i = M f = H Half-Rising: p = LM d = MH Half-Falling: q = ML b = HM Dipping: y = MLM u = HMH Hopping: n = LML h = MHM Full-Falling: m = HL Full-Rising: w = LH The voiced equivalents of all these whistles are written with a preceding |z|, hence |zh| is a voiced MHM whistle, and |i| is a voiceless M whistle. Or, you could have the voiced whistles be the orthographic default, and mark the voiceless ones with |s|; or maybe it would be better to mark all of the for voicingness with |s| and |z|... I'm not sure yet. I picked the letters for the orthography based on their visual characteristics for representing the whistle tones. -Stephen (Steg) "there is darkness all around us; but if darkness *is*, and the darkness is of the forest, then the darkness must be good." ~ song of the BaMbuti in troubled times