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Re: "It's been a while..."

From:Paul Bennett <pbennett@...>
Date:Friday, June 4, 1999, 15:04
On 1 May 99, at 15:45, Daniel Boese wrote:

> First, I'm going to work out a set of phonemes for the Rrangoon. The > items which have already been established which limit my choices are: > "A Rrangoon's head is shaped much like a guinea pig's or rabbit's, with a > blunt snout, harelip, whiskers, and sharp white teeth."
> Vowels: > ---- unrounded ---- ----- rounded ----- > front center back front center back > high i i" u- y u" u > semi-high I i= y= I. u= U > upper-mid e @+ o- Y o= o > mid E+ @ V+ W+ @. O+ > lower-mid E V" V W O" O > low & a A &. a. A. > > > Given that I'm going to have to hunt up what "rounded" and "unrounded" > actually mean :), and the fact that a Rrangoon's mouth is based on a > rodent's, the vowels need fixing.
IMVHO, I find it very hard to imagine a Rrangoon ever being able to make a rounded vowel. Each of the features you describe would individually make it rather difficult. A reasonable way (I'd suggest) to simulate a rrangoon mouth is to extend your index finger and touch the front of your front teeth (top row). This simulates the hair lip and oversize incisors. Now try and speak without moving your finger, and trying not to move your lips. If your bottom lip touches your finger (to make a bilabial (or more correctly a labio-digital?)), then that should probably count as cheating, as I've never noticed a similar type of animal with prehensile enough lips. This also seems to put a biggish dent in the vowel set. Listening to the sounds of various rodents, I also get the feeling that there ought to be at least a few clicks in the phonology. Of course, since I have never actually seen a rrangoon, this is all pure speculation... --- Pb "Tell a man there are 300 billion stars in the galaxy and he'll believe you, but tell him a bench has wet paint on it and he'll touch it to be sure."