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Vowels in Finlaesk

From:Paul Bennett <paul.w.bennett@...>
Date:Monday, September 3, 2007, 6:21
I'm having a small crisis over the vowels in Finlaesk.

The two-penny tour: It's what happened to the Old Icelandic spoken by the
settlers of Vinland (North America) in its AU.

The current vowel set is as follows:

   i i: i~ y y: y~         u u: u~
   e e: e~ 2 2: 2~ @ @: @~ o o: o~
   E E: E~ 9 9: 9~         O O: O~
    a a: a~              A A: A~

Unfortunately, it seems to have travelled the exact opposite direction
 from Old Norse that is *should* have done for a language surrounded by the
indigenous languages of southern and western Greenland, eastern Canada,
and the wortheastern USA.

The predominant language families all have much simpler vowel (and
decidedly less Europeanly regular) layouts, such as

   e e: @ o o:
       a a:

... or ...

    e @ o o:
      a a: a~

... or ...

   i      u~
    e @~ o

... or ...

   i   u
   a   A

... or ...

   i i:    u u:
       a a:

It is, in short, the kind of environment in which I suspect my
nicely-laid-out Germanic vowel grid just would not stay stable. Worlds are
colliding, and things are going to collapse. The only problem is: which

It seems that the front-rounded vowels would need to go, and one or more
of the back rounded ones, too. Where from there, though? Pages and pages
of core morphology would be flushed down the same tube.

Ironically, /@/ and phonemic nasalization both entered the vowel inventory
thanks to the native languages, but then the inventory kind of took off
running with a force all its own, and now I'm staring down a particularly
worrying gun barrel, wondering where exactly I went wrong in my life.

All thoughts and suggestions solicited.



Using Opera's revolutionary e-mail client:


Mark J. Reed <markjreed@...>
Dirk Elzinga <dirk.elzinga@...>
Benct Philip Jonsson <conlang@...>
Paul Bennett <paul.w.bennett@...>