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Greek flavoring (was: My Apologies about Mysterious sounds)

From:Ray Brown <ray.brown@...>
Date:Monday, October 4, 2004, 5:45
On Sunday, October 3, 2004, at 07:33 , Ben Poplawski wrote:

> On Sat, 2 Oct 2004 21:27:11 +0200, Rodlox <Rodlox@...> wrote:
>>> But to return to your reply above. I am not clear how you understand "a >>> Greek twist" >> >> a "flavour" if you will. >
> But for "flavor" I went towards more with certain consonants rather than > vowels. I think Greek is more distinctive in that arena than the other.
That depends IMO on whether its a modern Greek flavor or an ancient Greek flavor that's wanted. If you're talking about modern Greek, then I agree entirely. After all, the modern Greek vowels are simply /a/, /e/, /i/ /o/ and /u/ only - hardly distinctive! It's the consonant system that gives the phonology its distinctive flavor. But if the flavor you are after is of ancient Greek, the the inclusion of certain diphthongs is desirable and also one ought to consider whether to include vowel length. I got the feeling - tho I may be wrong - that it was an ancient Greek flavor Rodlox had in mind.
> For > example, [T] is a rare sound but Greek has it.
Modern Greek does - but ancient Greek didn't. The ancient theta was [t_h].
> Here's the example sentence on LangMaker: > > Thonath belo khelbit auriswelespit. > soar.1SG over land.DAT.PL sun.light.PP.DAT.PL > "I soar over sunlit lands."
The inclusion of [w] and the final [T] and [t] give it a very un-Greek feel. While [w] did remain in the Doric dialects probably as late as the Roman period, it had long disappeared from most Greek dialects well before the 5th cent BCE and has not been part of Greek since. Also ancient Greek allowed only the consonants /n/, /r/ and /s/ (including /ps/ and /ks/) in word final position (apparent exceptions like _ek_ and _ouk_ occur only on proclitics). Modern Greek is even more restrictive in that final -n has been much reduced (tho I have no doubt some modern borrowings from other languages retain final consonants). I assume that if |th| has the value [T], then |kh| in the above sentence has the value [x] or [X]. The inclusion of [T] and [x] (or [X], as well [w] , and those final consonants give it more of a Brittonic feel for me - but I like the language.
> Though the endings match more of those of Latin. Oh, well. I like it. :)
That's the most important thing IMO. Striving too much to imitate a particular language is not always successful - besides it is an open invitation for critics :) Best, I think, to take features that appeal and mix carefully and produce something you actually like. I often use cooking (another hobby of mine) as comparison. A successful dish means that the different flavors are subtly combined so that no one dominates and hides the others. If the flavors are well balanced & blended, the result is something new and original - a work of art :) Ray =============================================== =============================================== Anything is possible in the fabulous Celtic twilight, which is not so much a twilight of the gods as of the reason." [JRRT, "English and Welsh" ]


Philip Newton <philip.newton@...>
Rodlox <rodlox@...>