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Re: THEORY: Tonogenesis

From:Kevin Athey <kevindeanathey@...>
Date:Friday, February 4, 2005, 16:30
>From: Steven Williams <feurieaux@...> > >I chose that because it mimicked the V+[6] clusters in >some dialects of German, which I think are beautiful. >I think the most beautiful word in German is /früher/ >[fRy:6], and I basically expanded it from there, like >Tolkien and his 'cellar door'.
I almost always use personal aesthetics in phonology for conlanging (like the vast majority here, I'd imagine), but interestingly this is one of the few languages I've developed in which my phonological preferences didn't play so much of a part. Opinions vary, but [pu:_H.l1_X_L.DaU_F.k_ha_Mf.j1_X_L.d_waI_M_R.?_ja:_M.za_M_Rr\.tr\=_M.s1_X_L.?_ja:_M.za_M_Rr\.ta_L.DaU_F.k_ha_Mf] just sounds kind of harsh to me. /Piw liþawchaf yitway 'yasar, tir si'yasar taþawchaf/ looks pretty wacky, too (and there aren't even any tones marked!). Nevertheless, this is my very favorite conlang. It has something to do with just how natural everything feels. Everything fits together as a system. <shrug>
>I really love that system; it sounds a bit like >Chinese with the loss of voicing causing a difference >in tone (actually, with Chinese, it was mostly the >loss of the voiced aspirates), though Chinese has >always been roughly monosyllabic, so complications due >to the erosion of onsets or codas were minimal.
That's a pretty common form of tonogenesis, but I was never able to make it work universally with Þewthaj, so I began to develop the pitch-accent-origin idea. I know less about this sort of thing in natlangs, though. Research into Tibetan is proving helpful. Athey _________________________________________________________________ Express yourself instantly with MSN Messenger! Download today - it's FREE!