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Re: Phonology and Questions

From:Nik Taylor <fortytwo@...>
Date:Saturday, May 6, 2000, 23:02
> yl-ruil wrote: > stop p, p' t, t' k, k' q, q'
Rather unusual (perhaps unprecedented) to have ejectives with no voicing distinctions.
> fric f, f' s, s' x, x' h, h'
I'm not even sure if /x'/ and /X'/ would be *possible*.
> Vowels are a, ä, e, ë, i, ï, o, ö, u and ü. They retain their > "classical" quality. The diariesis marks voicelessness.
A voicing distinction in vowels but NOWHERE ELSE?
> 1) Kansú has a pitch-accent, but the placement of this is highly > irregular, and not all words are accented. I really can't find a way > to resolve this into a rule for accent in Qanhësunhï
How about a lost sound? You could have, say, a pharyngeal sound. Perhaps in Q., the stress was on the vowel (or latest vowel if more than one) following the pharyngeal consonant. Words without a pharyngeal consonant automatically placed the stress on a fixed position. Are the accentless words of a specific class? If so, they could've lost their stress at some point. This would especially make sense if those words were pronouns and adpositions.
> How did the pitch-accent occur in any real languages?
I don't know, but W evolved it via ordinary stress. What happened was that the stressed vowel became high-pitched, and any following vowels became high-pitched as well, being influenced by a native substrate.
> 2) Are there any natlangs with voiceless vowels? I can only think of > Cheyenne.
Japanese uses it as an allophone of voiced vowels.
> 4) Totally off-topic, what is the origin of the Latin and Celtic -b- > future? AFAIK it's an areal feature, but where does it come from? Is > is from IE bhu "to be", as an infix?
Yep, but the term is "suffix". An infix goes inside the root itself, as if ama:- became *amba:o in the future. -- "If the stars should appear one night in a thousand years, how would men believe and adore, and preserve for many generations the remembrance of the city of God!" - Ralph Waldo Emerson ICQ: 18656696 AIM Screen-Name: NikTailor