Theiling Online    Sitemap    Conlang Mailing List HQ   

Re: a request for input.... vocalic inventory

From:Aidan Grey <grey@...>
Date:Saturday, March 8, 2003, 19:37
Byron cande:

>i want to go from a system of: > >a: e: i: o: >a i o > >to: > >a: i: u: >a i u @ > >-with a low vs. high tonal distinction, just to make >things interesting.... > >so, any ideas how i might derive such a thing from >existing Cree vocabulary? i realise not having my >wanted consonant inventory makes it a bit speculative, >but still... any input would be nice.
Aha! Easy - very similar to Old Irish development! First, where do the high/low tones present? Are long vowels high tone? I've got other ideas, which I'll get to in a second. e: > i: (you might also have shortened e>i show up in certain contexts) o, o: > u, u: (all of these exactly as in Old irish) @ arises in unstressed syllables (from a or orig. o), or from /&/ as a result of i-umlaut. Or some other way. High tone can be an effect of stress - IE supposedly had tone determined stress, as does Greek. Another way to do it would be that closed syllables (syllables ending with a consonant not a vowel) become low tone, with high tone in open syllables. This would happen at an early stage, that later sound changes could have low tone open syllables, and high tone closed syllables. Is there a neutral tone too? Examples based on totally random words (stress ', high tone with - after, low tone unmarked): tanopse: > t@-'nu:-psi:- or ta- kantora > kan'tu-r@- For a properly Amerindian sort of lang, I think you'd need to have vowels (and clusters) affecting consonants too (tua > twa), and you should probably allow allophonic variations (so that a>o before u in next syllable kan'tu-r@- > kon'tu-r@-, and prob i>e/_a, u>o/_a, a>e/_i, and so on). Hope this helps, Aidan