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Re: No Vowels?

From:Jörg Rhiemeier <joerg_rhiemeier@...>
Date:Tuesday, July 3, 2007, 18:56

On Tue, 3 Jul 2007 14:49:59 +0100, R A Brown wrote:

> Jörg Rhiemeier wrote: > > [Plan B] > >>It most certainly has 16 consonant phonemes. Whether it has 8 or 16 > >>vowel phonemes is a matter of interpretation. If phonemic status is > >>given to /r/, then we have 8 vowel phonemes plus 8 combos of /r/ plus a > >>vowel. The rule is then that syllables must be of the form: C(r)V(C) > > > > > > I did not remember that the "16 vowels" included 8 /r/+vowel combos. > > I'd say that /r/ is a phoneme, so there are 17 consonants, one of them > > being /r/ that patterns fundamentally different than the other 16, and > > 8 vowels. > > Yep - I think in summary if describing Plan B _phonologically_ one would > say that it has: > - sixteen consonants that function at syllable boundaries, i.e. /p t k b > d g f T s S v D z Z m n/ > - eight vowels, namely /i: I ej E aj A ow u:/ * > - a 'glide', namely /r/ (alveolar approximant) which can occur only > between a consonant and vowel.
> *it will be seen that the 'vowels' contain diphthongs as well as simple > vowels, so one could derive different _phonemic_ analysis, e.g. the > first six above could be analyzed as /ij/, /i/, /ej/, /e/, /aj/, /a/ - > that is as three simple vowels plus three diphthongs with /j/. But that > would then leave /ow/ and /uw/ a bit anomalous.
These obviously contain another consonant, /w/, that doesn't occur elsewhere. Strange, but after all it is a strange language.
> > [hexadecimal digits] > > > > Yes. That would not really look like a pronounceable *language*, > > but Prothero's sequences of consonants of which every other is > > to be pronounced as a (seemingly) unrelated vowel doesn't, either. > > Quite so. His use of traditionally consonant symbols is IMO unhelpful in > that sometimes they are pronounced with sounds associated with those > symbols (tho pronouncing _h_ as /T/ and _l_ as /D/ is a bit strange),
> but at other times they are pronounced as vowels or diphthongs. It is > just plain crazy IMO to pronounce _c_ as /ej/ and _d_ as /I/.
Rightly said. This is indeed just plain crazy.
> At least if they were the hex digits it is a tad more obvious that the > symbols map to quartets of bits and that they will unusual rules of > pronunciation.
> > (Nor does the all-consonant orthography of X-1, I have to admit.) > > At least the consonants keep values which are consonantal and similar to > their traditional pronunciation in most languages. It is just that built > into the system is a method of determining the unwritten vowels.
Yes - that's exactly what is going on there.
> Yes, I know that using only consonant symbols in the orthography might > lead to the naive assumption that the language is vowel-less. But that > really is a naive assumption. Well might just as well claim that any > language written with an abjad, e.g. Arabic or Hebrew, is vowel-less!
I remember reading somewhere that the Greek "invented vowels" :)
> [...] > > > It is a well-known (to me) mistake of mine to start all sorts of > > projects even though I have enough to do already, most of which > > soon fall by the wayside. And X-1 is one of those projects. > > Oh - I do still intend to complete my 'experimental loglang' sometime - > if only to discover what its name is :)
I also intend to continue my work on X-1, it is just put on the back burner right now.
> [snip] > >>>and that the orthography was phonemic; but it is probably more > >>>reasonable to analyse it as having 7 consonant phonemes /p t k s m n l/ > >>>and 4 vowel phonemes /E i O u/. > >> > >>Basically I agree, tho I think I would include the 'zero consonant' as a > >>phoneme, i.e. 8 consonant phonemes. This simplifies the rule that all > >>syllables must be of the type CV > > > > > > That's a legitimate analysis, though I'd avoid it - I am not all that > > comfortable with zero phonemes. > > The so-called 'zero consonant' of my experimental Conlang can be [j] > before front vowels or [w] before back vowels, i.e. it does have > phonetically realized allophones, so I think it is legitimate to refer > to it as a phoneme. However, in my latest revision I have given it the > phonemic symbol /ɰ/ and it may be: > - a velar approximant in any position; > - a palatal approximant before front vowels; > - a labiovelar approximant before back vowels; > - silent.
True. If it has non-zero allophones, it is not a zero phoneme. One could argue for a zero phoneme in X-1 for sake of symmetry, but I don't feel like that. There are no consonantal segments in the pronunciations of |h| or |j|. On the other hand, they *do* influence the vowel in that syllable. But a "zero phoneme"? X-1 is simply not spelled phonemically. (As opposed to a zero phoneme, a zero *string of phonemes* makes perfect sense, and plays an important role in formal language theory.)
> [phonetics != phonology != orthography] > > >>Didn't we discuss this on the Conlang list in February this year? > > There was a "Why consonants" thread.
Yes, I have found it. ... brought to you by the Weeping Elf