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Simafira: phonetics

From:Steve Kramer <scooter@...>
Date:Thursday, August 30, 2001, 20:40
Well, my language is off to a start.  It even has a name - Simafira
("sima"=island, "fira"=speech).

I thought I'd post on some aspects of my language, just to see how they'd be
received, starting with the phonetics.  Keep in mind that I'm working with a
brand-new knowledge of the subject, and experimenting from there...regardless,

For one thing, the script is completely phonetic.  (Is this unusual?)
There are a few sounds missing to try and make the language "flow"
similarly to, but not exactly like, a Polynesian language.  Affricates
were done away with, softened to [f] or [Z].  The sound for "r" is [R].  I also
removed [g], [v], and [z]; [v] was reassigned to [f], [z] to [Z].  Words
themselves are constrained so that they may not end with a stop.

Also, somewhat oddly, I lost [T] and [D], since I've heard these used in
enough conlangs to try and soften them that it themeth that everyone who
conlangth is thpeaking with a lithp.

I also made a weird addition - [K].  This might end up being dropped,
because none of my other speakers can make that sound!

(Hope I'm using this X-SAMPA correctly.  Thank you to whoever suggested
IPA Help!)

There are five vowels - [a E i o u].  I'm putting them together to form
dipthongs, though I don't know if those technically count!  As an example,
there's an /eo/ sound that I borrowed from's a very opened-up
/o/.  It's why Baltimoreans who are headed to the beach are sometimes
transcribed as "gaywin' downy ayshin" (say it out loud).  I also tend to drop
into some of my French sounds when speaking it, so [Y] and [O~] may yet make
their way in.

I'll cover the beginnings of Simafira grammar in a later message.  For now,
comments are more than welcome!

Steve Kramer   -=oOo=-   scooter at buser dot net
Thought for today:
 Maj. Burns: "I won't let you down, sir."
 Col. Potter: "There's no way you can."


Tom Tadfor Little <tom@...>