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Re: Making your language sound nice

From:David J. Peterson <dedalvs@...>
Date:Saturday, June 14, 2008, 19:17
Michael Martin:
Now, I had this idea that other cases would be formed by adding a
to the end of the word, so that it is possible to have a nominative and
accusative form of each of the other cases.

Well, there's your problem right there!  ;)  Seriously, though,
how does one differentiate a nominative locative and an accusative
locative?  Can you give us some example sentences?

Are there sound harmony rules in languages that I should learn
about? I've read people talking about vowel harmony.

There is vowel harmony, and there is also consonant harmony and
the process whose name I forget whereby one consonant changes
in order to be dissimilar to a nearby consonant.  Is it dissimilation?
Anyway, here's the phenomenon:


That is, you have this suffix /-al/ (or /-ar/), and you get the first
one when it comes after /r/, and the second one when it comes
after /l/.  The only reason is that words like *solal and *morar are
too much of a mouthful (though I guess morrire is okay).

I have employed just this strategy for a language of mine Zhyler
with the same consonants, though with a different result.  So, here
are some "infinitives" let's call them:

darkal "to hunt"
matal "to see"
vonal "to sing"
mexel "to be"
sayal "to die"

And here's another:

palan "to wear"

So, quite simply, when the last consonant is /l/, this suffix (well,
really, any /l/, but it's only relevant for this suffix) becomes /n/.
There's nothing wrong with the phonetic string /palal/, per se,
but I didn't want it in Zhyler, so I invented this rule (also, /l/ and
/n/ are acoustically similar enough that I figured I could pull it
off).  I have a separate rule for /r/.  All of the following are in the

wervener "wolf"
balakfener "gorilla"
iSwir "water"
sexar "man"
darakkar "hunter"


pettirez "king"

So, same thing.  Something like /pettirer/ just sounded icky to
me, so I invented the rule that changes /r/ to /z/ after another
/r/.  Again, /r/ and /z/ are phonetically similar.

Something similar could work for your language.  Vowel harmony
wouldn't work, because, of course, you *want* the vowels to be
dissimilar to signify different cases (though it might be fun if the
nominative locative and accusative locative were phonetically
How many cases do you need to distinguish?

"A male love inevivi i'ala'i oku i ue pokulu'ume o heki a."
"No eternal reward will forgive us now for wasting the dawn."

-Jim Morrison


Michael Martin <masonheart@...>
Scotto Hlad <scott.hlad@...>