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Old Starrish - consonants

From:Rachel Klippenstein <estel_telcontar@...>
Date:Wednesday, February 19, 2003, 6:51
Here's what I've worked out about the consonants in
Old Starrish.

One of the things I'm contending with is:  if you have
a language where vowels are not an inherent part of
the words, what sorts of sound changes would happen?
Sound changes usually seem to affect sounds when they
are adjacent to certain other sounds.  But in Old
Starrish, a consonant would have different next-door
neighbours depending which vowels the speaker chose to
add where.

So I came up with the idea that you could have two
sounds that fuse when they happen to be adjacent, and
this would be the first stage of the sound change, and
the second stage would be that they must always be
fused, so that the have become one sound.

The one sound change I have worked out for the
development of Proto-Starrish into Old Starrish is one
in which consonants fused with a following h.

So, Proto-Old Starrish had the following consonants:
Voiceless stops: p  t  k
Voiced stops: b  d  g
nasals: m  n  N
approximants: w  l  j
fricatives: s  h
trill: r

The essential sound change which created Old Starrish
out of Proto-Starrish was:
a stop + h became a fricative
  (e.g. th became T)
a nasal + h became a voiceless nasal
rh became voiceless r
an approximant + h became a voiceless fricative at the
same place of articulation
sh became s

The resulting consonant inventory is:
p   t   k
p\  T   x

b   d   g
B   D   G

m   n   N
m_0 n_0 N_0

w   l   j
W   K   C



Would it make more sense if the approximants + h
became voiceless approximants instead of fricatives?

This sound-change operated across word-boundaries, so
the final consonant of a word before a word starting
with h was modified.

This sound change also had an important effect on the
morphology, since in Proto-Starrish the past tense of
verbs and the plural of nouns was formed by adding an
-h suffix to the stem, so in Old Starrish these forms
were produced by modification of the stem (change of
the final consonant) instead of a suffix.

I'm still trying to come up with some other sound
changes, but that's a start.  Now I just need some

Rachel Klippenstein

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