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Telona phonetics

From:Jonathan Knibb <jonathan_knibb@...>
Date:Tuesday, January 29, 2002, 22:47
Right, here we go.

Orthographically (each of these is a phoneme):
Unvoiced stops: bilabial 'p', dental 't', palatal 'c', velar 'k'
Voiced stops: just bilabial 'b' and dental 'd'
Unvoiced fricatives: bilabial 'f', alveolar 's', palatal 'h', velar 'ch'
Nasals: bilabial 'm', dental 'n'
Alveolar flap 'r'
Alveolar lateral 'l'
Velar approximant 'w'

Excuse my lack of X-SAMPA experience, but AFAICT, in the same order as
[p t c k]  [b d]  [f\ s C x]  [m n]  [4]  [l]  [M\]

The unvoiced stops are unaspirated; dentals are post-dental; palatals are
pure palatal with no alveolar co-articulation.
Fricatives may be voiced intervocalically, especially /f/ and /s/.
Yes, /f/ is bilabial, not labiodental.  Also, /s/ is much less grooved than
most, and can even be realised as an very weakly sibilant, ungrooved, lax
apico-alveolar fricative (is there a symbol for this in IPA, never mind in
The velar approximant (my favourite!) is accompanied by lip tensing and
partial closure in the spread position, not lip-rounding as such (same lip
position as in Swedish long 'y').  It has an alternative realisation, as a
labialised velar lateral.  <gulp>

There are six vowel phonemes, each of which has a long and a short
/e:/ = [e]
/e/ = [E]
/a:/ = [a]
/a/ = [A], roughly; maybe a little raised and centralised from [A]
/i:/ = [i]
/i/ = somewhere between [I] and [1]  (small capital i and i-bar)
/o:/ = [o]
/o/ = [O] - again, centralised in rapid speech
/y:/ = [y]
/y/ = [@\], close-mid central unrounded  (I'm thinking of letting /y/ be
omitted in certain contexts)
/u:/ = [u]
/u/ = somewhere between [U] and [}]  (small capital u and u-bar)

In the citation form, the first syllable of a word carries a long vowel, and
all subsequent vowels are short.
Syllables are strictly (C)V in the citation form, although affixes and
clitics can cause words to end with a consonant.  There are three further
phonotactic constraints:
(1)  No two consecutive non-initial syllables may carry the same consonant -
this includes the zero consonant, which means that sequences of three
adjacent vowels are forbidden.
(2)  Apart from monosyllables, no word may end with a high vowel (y or u).
(3)  Vowel harmony.  The 'front' vowels are /e i y/ and the 'back' vowels
are /a o u/; all but the first vowel in a word must come from the same group
(the first vowel may or may not harmonise).

A few nonsense words for illustration:
'citano'  /ci:tano/  [ci:tAnO]
'hechi'  /Ce:xi/  [Ce:xI]
'tomelyfi'  /to:melyfi/  [to:mEl@\f\I]  (or perhaps, if I decide to:
[to:mElf\I] )
and ... 'Telona'  /te:lona/  [te:lOnA]

How's that for a start?  Phonology later in the week if you wish!



daniel andreasson <danielandreasson@...>