Theiling Online    Sitemap    Conlang Mailing List HQ   

Re: A polymorphic language

From:Rob Haden <magwich78@...>
Date:Tuesday, February 14, 2006, 15:45
On Tue, 14 Feb 2006 14:17:35 +0000, Peter Bleackley
<Peter.Bleackley@...> wrote:

>Here's an idea that I'd like to play around with in the near future. I'm >defining a polymorphic language as one where most morphemes have several >possible allomorphs, and it's not always predictable which one will occur >in a given situation. > >To do this, I'm going to start off with an ancestor language with a more >simple and predictable morphology. The phonemic inventory will be > >p t k ? >f s x h >w r j >m n N > >i u > > a > >and the allowed syllables will be [C]V[L][n] > >However, each phoneme will have more than one allophone, eg > >/hi/ = [Ci] >/ha/ = [ha] >/hu/ = [Wu] > >Then, I'll introduce sound changes that turn the different allophones into >separate phonemes. That should leave me with the effect I desire. > >I'd welcome suggestions for what allophones different phonemes should have, >and how to break allophony. > >Pete >=========================================================================
It seems like the easiest way to go about making allophony is to have palatalization next to /i/ and labialization next to /u/. You've probably already thought of that, though, given your allophones for /h/. :) The only phonemes I see discouraging allophony are the (bi)labial ones, due to their disconnection with tongue articulation. However, you may be satisfied with having simple coarticulations (i.e. palatalized, plain (= null), labialized) for this series. Another thing to watch out for is allophones of different consonants merging together (unless you actually want that :P). For example, /ti/ and /ki/ could both easily be realised as [tS)i] as a result of palatalization. There are ways around that, however. In the above example, /ti/ could instead be [ts_m)i], with /ki/ staying as [tS)i]. - Rob


Patrick Littell <puchitao@...>