|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]  [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  (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
(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:
and ... 'Telona' /te:lona/ [te:lOnA]
How's that for a start? Phonology later in the week if you wish!