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Nimrina phonology

From:Herman Miller <hmiller@...>
Date:Thursday, August 17, 2006, 2:25
 From the recent discussion of phonology, I've realized it's been a
while since I did a language with a really interesting phonology. My
recent languages feel pretty artificial in that respect. So I decided to
start a new language, which makes use of phonological alterations in the
morphology for a more realistic feel.

So far what I have is this:

Initial consonant mutations in compounds (as in Japanese):
tilin "small"
sáti "foot"
tilinzáti "small-footed; having small feet"

Alteration of the final consonant when adding a suffix:
sán "two", satsa "twenty"
klym "five", klypsa "fifty"

The details need some work, but I'll eventually figure something out. My
current idea is that -ssa is the suffix for "10 times", but due to
phonological restrictions, it ends up as -sa after consonants. The full
set of numerals:

1 mi [m_ji], 10 há [ha:]
2 sán [sa:n], 20 satsa [satsa] (note shortening of vowel)
3 pai [pai], 30 paissa [pais:a]
4 trún [t`s`u:n], 40 trutsa [t`s`utsa]
5 klym [kl1m], 50 klypsa [kl1psa]
6 hrána [s`a:na], 60 hransa [s`aA~sa]
7 zá [za:], 70 zassa [zas:a]
8 híhli [Ci:K_ji], 80 hihlisa [CiK_jisa]
9 vai [vai], 90 vaissa [vais:a]

I have yet to work out the rules for shortening of vowels, so some of
these may eventually change. I might leave a few irregularities here and

Nimrína [n_jimz`i:na] currently has 17 consonant phonemes (p b t d k g m
n r v s z s` z` h K l) and 6 vowel phonemes [i 1 u E O a]. Vowels can be
long or short, but since there are numerous diphthongs, it might be more
appropriate to consider long vowels as sequences of two identical
vowels. Note the absence of /f/, which has merged with /h/; /h/
alternates with /v/ in phonological contexts where it needs to be voiced.

Spelling is more or less phonemic, with some complications; for
instance, /z`/ is "r" and /r/ is "rr", so long /z`:/ is written "zr" to
avoid confusion with /r/.


Henrik Theiling <theiling@...>
Benct Philip Jonsson <bpjonsson@...>