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a few questions

From:J. Barefoot <lesfraises@...>
Date:Saturday, January 9, 1999, 3:33
I think I'm going to start a major project - a language family, although
it may be March before I find time to work on it. Anyway, I have a few
questions before I get started:

1. What does "productive" mean? What distinguishes a productive process
from a nonproductive or fossilized process?

2. Do suprasegmental "rules" for pronunciation influence sound change to
any extent?

3. How do separate sounds in a protolanguage become allophones in a
daughter language still keeping enough phonemic variation so that not
too many words converge?

4. Does this system of vowel change make any kind of natural sense?

Proto - basic five vowel system with an added tense/lax distinction.
Northern Daughter - lax vowels become tense, tense vowels become
"schwa-dipthongs," sort of like the vowel with an English offglide,
except word-finally
Southern Daughter - tense vowels become lax, lax vowels lower (i.e., i
>e; u >o; e,o >a, except for lax "a" (I think that's [A]?) which becomes
tense. I'll probably come up with more as I work on it. Thanks a lot! Jen ______________________________________________________ Get Your Private, Free Email at