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Re: My first conlang (sketch)

From:Tom Wier <artabanos@...>
Date:Tuesday, May 16, 2000, 13:12
Christophe Grandsire wrote:

> >Phoneme: p b t d k g m n N f v T D s z S Z x G r\ j l > >Transliteraton: p b t d k g m n n* f v th th* s z sh zh kh gh r j l > > > >* - "th" is pronouced /D/ when intrevocalic, "n" is pronounced /N/ when > >preceeding or following a velar consonant. Also /r\/ is the SAMPA for a > >Alveolar approximant, in case > >another system is being used here. > > In this case, /n/ and /N/ (resp. /T/ and /D/) are allophones, and thus > cannot be separate phonemes. For your phonemic description, you can thus > forget /N/ and /D/ and explain when th and n are pronounced differently > than usual.
You'll note that he said "th" and "n". I inferred from this that he meant the graphemes <th> and <n>, not a phonemic analysis of them. It could indeed be the case that <th> is always voiced between vowels, as it is in all the most frequent English words, and could also appear unpredictably elsewhere, making it a phonemic contrast with /T/. The orthography would simply be ambiguous on this point. The same kind of reasoning applies to <n>.
> >Syllabary: > > > >(C)(r,l,j)(V)(C) > > > >Note that r, l, and j can only follow an alveolar, dental, or > >postalveolar consonant: > >eg. "thr" is valid, while "pr" is not.
Lack of labials (or a corresponding rule against their use in a situation like this) is rather unusual typologically. That does not mean, of course, that you can't do it: two languages that I've studied, Atkan Aleut and Onandaga, both completely lack labials.
> Strange ! For me, /pr\/ is much easier than /Tr\/ to pronounced. Is there a > reason for this limitation?
What exactly is /r\/ here? Is it a trill? If so, alveolar, uvular, what? Or maybe a retroflex approximant like English /r/?
> >Personal pronouns: > >Pronouns are treated similarly to nouns. There are three monosyllabic > >root pronouns, one for each person. From these, certain affixes are > >added, as follows: > > > > Gender: > > Inanimate: -ot- > > Male: -ap- > > Female: -ip- > > Neuter: -ep-
Do you have some historical reason for the similarity of the different endings? Or is this an a priori language (in which case, there wouldn't be one)?
> > Number: > > Singular: (none) > > Plural: -as- > > All in view (is there a better name for this?): -an-
Perhaps "inclusive"? That doesn't sit with me well, though, either. Too much theoretical baggage from other areas of the study.
> "visible"? Or maybe "proximate", because if you can see them all, they > should be near you. What is the use of this "number"?
"Proximate" would be confusing, because most languages which make distinctions based on proximity (e.g., Atkan Aleut and its demonstratives) mean something *very close* to you, depending on how many degrees of distinction are made. (In Atkan Aleut, there are about five IIRC.) =========================================== Tom Wier <artabanos@...> "Cogito ergo sum, sed credo ergo ero." ===========================================