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Re: Euphonic phonology (Was: 'Nor' in the World's Languages)

From:H. S. Teoh <hsteoh@...>
Date:Wednesday, August 9, 2006, 17:15
On Wed, Aug 09, 2006 at 04:28:08PM -0000, caeruleancentaur wrote:
> When I first began the phonology of Senjecas, I wanted the PIE roots > to sound like Hawaiian. So I first had to get rid of consonant > clusters & diphthongs. Every vowel is a syllable. There are no > geminate consonants.
Cool, that sounds similar to Tatari Faran.
> Then I remembered the final -n in Japanese & thought that that would > sound nice. This led me ultimately to using any non-plosive in the > syllable final position.
Cool. Tatari Faran is more restricted in word-medial positions, in that the only allowed clusters begin with /m/ or /n/. Other than that, syllable structure is CVCV... . In word-final position, only unvoiced consonants are allowed, and /k/ is substituted by /?/.
> Because of the mystic meaning of the number 6 in Senjecan mythology, > I reduced the phoneme count to a multiple of 6. There are 24 > consonants (actually 12 pairs of a voiced & voiceless).
Nice. I did a similar thing in Ebisédian, which had a much fuller inventory of phonemes than the minimalistic Tatari Faran. In Ebisédian, the numbers 3 and 5 are very prevalent. There are 6 rows of consonants in Ebisédian, grouped roughly according to point of articulation (although not exactly). Each row has 6 members, except for two of the rows which have 5 and 4, respectively. There are also 9 vowels, arranged in a 3x3 grid.
> These consonants are formed in the front of the mouth (labial, dental, > alveolar & palatal). No velars, glottals, etc., that sound harsh to > me.
Interesting. Many people consider labial sounds harsh, but to my ears, labials are actually quite pleasing. Tatari Faran does have a lot of velars and glottals. Glottal stop is phonemic and occurs frequently.
> I didn't want to have any sounds that I couldn't pronounce, but my > sense of the exotic needed to be met. The paired consonants did > that. In the labial row I have /p\/ & /B/. In the dental row I > have /T_d/ & /D_d/ (not interdentals). The sonorant column > contains /m_0/, /l_d_0/, /4_0/, & /j_0/. I can pronounce all of > these, but they don't occur in my L1.
Cool. None of the languages I'm fluent in have phonemic glottal stop, so that was quite an adventure when I introduced that in Tatari Faran. TF also has the unusual lack of any lateral consonants, and an alternation between /d/ and /4/.
> The 6 vowels are straightforward: /i/, /e/, /a/, /O/, /o/ & /u/.
Yay! Somebody else has a /O/ vs. /o/ distinction. :-)
> Consonant clusters of more than 2 consonants are not permitted in any > position.
Ditto for TF.
> If there is a conflict with a final consonant & an initial > consonant, an epenthetic /E/ is inserted. E.g., *mus sââta, I > stand, becomes musë sââta.
Hmm. TF has rules of euphony, but none of them introduce epithentic vowels. TF's solution to "uneuphonic" clusters is to mutate the consonants.
> I also decided on pitch accent rather than stress accent. I haven't > quite got the hang of that yet.
TF uses pitch accent, too. I guess this isn't too big a deal for me, 'cos my L1 is tonal, so pitch contours are quite natural for me. In fact, I still frequently conflate high pitch with stress.
> I am also going to use a bit of vowel harmony, but don't have that > worked out yet.
Cool. I haven't dared to tread there yet. T -- "Why waste time learning, when ignorance is instantaneous?" -- Calvin & Hobbes