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large vowel inventories [was: Re: tlhn'ks't, ngghlyam'ft, etc]

From:Dirk Elzinga <dirk_elzinga@...>
Date:Wednesday, February 5, 2003, 16:43
At 10:40 AM +0100 2/5/03, daniel andreasson wrote:
>Danny Wier wrote: > >> !Xu~ 95 (48 clicks) >> Lak 60 >> an unidentified variety of Arabic 56 > >8<-- snip rest of list of most consonants -->8 > >Does anyone have a similar list of languages with the >most vowels? I know about that site which describes >different vowel systems, and it ranks Swedish among >the highest with like 19 vowels (even though phonemically >it's just nine). Surely there must be languages with >more vowels than that? Or do you have to resort to long/ >short/overlong, nasalized, pharyngealization, et al. to >beat that?
Geleen Limburgian has 11 short vowels with corresponding long vowels and 8 diphthongs, all of which seem to be phonemic (chart in Strict X-SAMPA; best viewed in a monowidth font): i y u i: y: u: i{ y&/2& o6 e 2 o e: 2: o: Ei 9y Ou E_r 9_r O_r E: 9: O: { A {i Au a: (source: Boersma, Paul. 1998. Functional Phonology; p 349). So I guess that beats Swedish. Dirk -- Dirk Elzinga "It is important not to let one's aesthetics interfere with the appreciation of fact." - Stephen Anderson