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Re: [COMMENT] Coatlalopeuh Phonology/Orthography

From:Shreyas Sampat <shreyas@...>
Date:Monday, April 29, 2002, 18:56
Contains replies to both Jesse and Rob.

: >Coatlalopeuh (after Spanish Guadalupe)
: >is the working name for my new conlang.
: This caught my attention immediately,
: it looks Aztec-like. I try to create a lang
: that has an Aztec feel to it, so that's
: why I'm interested.
: Is Coatlalopeuh to be intended to look
: Aztec-like?
Yes; I wanted it to look superficially Aztec, without being a clone of

: >( /k^haKalobuh/, for the curious.)
[k^haKalobux], rather.
: Is this the phonological representation
: of the orthographic 'coatlalopeuh'?
: Starts to feel less Azte-like ...
Yeah.  The consonant alternations do that.

: >l            L |ll|       K |tl|
: Hmm, both /ll/ and /tl/. They are allophones
: in my lang ([ll] being the allophone of [tl] in
: syllablefinal position)
The reason for the rather odd phonemic inventory involves certain
morphological phenomena; three laterals is definitely a weird thing for a
language to be carrying around.

: >High vowels /i u/ preceding stressed syllables
: >in the same word are lowered
: >to /e o/.  This is optionally noted in the orthography.
: I have thought of this too. In the end I have ended up
: with i, e, a, o.
That, with length distinction, is the Nahuatl inventory, I'm told.  I had
this weird desire to use |e| and |o| as semivowels, so I didn't want them
competing *too much* for graphical space.  Besides which I'm not that much
of a fan of the glyphs.

: > *: When syllable-initial, |e, o| become |hi, hu|, |ih, uh| when
: > syllable-final.
: So is that why the |peoh| was [buh]?

That was simply final -/ux/.  I need to refine my syllabification rules;
they don't quite work the way I'd like them to.

As for the stop-aspiration thing, my theory is that the /w/ became devoiced
and then lost its labialization.  I'm not sure that aspiration is the best
way to represent this, or even if it should happen in /wC/ environment.

Some morphology:

One identifies the word class of a proper triconsonantal root by the
relationship between its first and second vowel.
The first vowel is the character vowel.  The second is one of the other
vowels, removed in some way along the 'vowel cycle'.  The vowel cycle is
shown below.
(this bit is a little strange and un-naturalistic)

a > ao > eu > u > ue > oi > i > io > ea > a
Note that the character vowel can be a diphthong.
At some point I should figure out the effect of prestress reduction on

The citation form of a noun is the focused form, CVCV+2C.
Thus, PNCA, 'flight', produces the noun |paneuc|, 'bird, insect, flying
The plural is formed by a reduplication process, yielding |appaneuc|.
The focus also determines the tense of the utterance, by a further shift 2
spaces forward for the past |panuec|, and 2 further spaces for future,

Similarly, the citation form of the verb, the first person singular, is
formed CVCV-2C, |panioc|.  The plural form of a verb denotes multiplicity of
action, often meaning something very different than the singular.  It is
formed in the same manner as the noun plural.

Proper nouns do not inflect; they must be focused.

A short text:

Murion panioccahuan rixeatti.
Around the tree flew the dragonfly.

Tlit Coatlalopeuh sealaohhampin simpa.
I suspect he/she/it speaks Coatlalopeuh.