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Re: Making your language sound nice

From:John Vertical <johnvertical@...>
Date:Sunday, June 15, 2008, 13:22
On Sun, 15 Jun 2008 02:50:23 -0700, David J. Peterson wrote:
>MM: >>I know a certain amount of word confusion is probably inevitable and >>that's when context is required for meaning, but I was originally hoping >>to make a language where any word could be understood even without >>context. > >Of course, there are a number of semanticists who believe that nothing >can be understood without context. :) Even if something doesn't have >a specific context, the hearer brings with them an assumed "general" >context that they rely on. > >Also, I'm not sure what you're doing with orthography, but if >you are, you can always do what English does. "Rode" can never >be confused with "road" because they're spelled differently (well, >also one's a verb, and one's a noun, but you get the idea). That >can help to straighten things up.
>All in all, though, it probably won't be a noticeable problem.
Mmh, if he has "no ambiguous word-forms" specifically as a GOAL, I don't think it necessarily does good to force the language into an typical natlang form. It's a well-tried form, but by no means the only one possible. There are a LOT of possible solutions to his original problem, there's no reason to pick one that produces or might produce homophones. Yes, it is debatable if all homophones are ambiguous, but why even approach that edge here? Also, I wonder, why's everyone targetting the two-liquid pattern when his initial message said "chalal" is not bad? Perhaps the problem with "chalol" is actually the final /Ul/? I could see how that would, from an English background, seem a bit awkward, especially if the /l/ is [5] here. Possible solutions would include introducing a different pre-liquidic allophone for /OU/, maybe plain [O] (tho I can't tell if that would clash with another vowel phoneme), or expanding the suffix to something like /lA/ after a bimoraic (long) vowel (if /OU/ counts as such?) Or changing the suffix stacking order to yield /tSAlAlOU/. Or changing the whole suffix to something else. Etc. Sky's the limit. John Vertical


Tristan McLeay <conlang@...>