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Re: Double-segmentation (Was: brz, or Plan B revisited)

From:Yahya Abdal-Aziz <yahya@...>
Date:Wednesday, September 28, 2005, 14:32
Hi all,

On Mon, 26 Sep 2005, Jörg Rhiemeier wrote:
> Hallo! > > Yahya Abdal-Aziz wrote: > > On Sun, 25 Sep 2005, Jrg Rhiemeier wrote, in reply to Patrick Littell: > > > > [self-segregation scheme snup] > > > > Hi Jörg, > > > > I'd say your scheme was both logical and ingenious. > > Thank you! > > > BTW, I disagree that the consonant clusters arising from > > the other scheme (Patrick's, if I remember correctly), > > are hideous - they do seem to be quite pronounceable, and > > to respect the kind of sonority hierarchy shown at > > > > It's of course a matter of taste. > > > I rather like the sound of "kotuhqafsmit" - sure beats > > trying to pronounce Nuxálk (Bella Coola)! > > True. > > > But back on-topic - what kinds of schemes occur in > > natlangs, and with what kinds of frequency, for both > > morpheme- and word-level segregation? And if such data > > is available, are there any plausible theories to account > > for them? > > AFAIK, self-segregating schemes tend not to occur in natlangs. > That is also why I don't use any such schemes in my naturalist > artlangs (such as Old Albic). > > Greetings, > Jrg.
Jörg, thanks for the information! My impression, formed from several natlangs, was that suprasegmentals, in particular pitch and tone, are the usual means of segregating both words and morphemes. I've also observed characteristic pitch and volume contours that serve to segregate utterances ("sentences") in Mandarin, Cantonese, Hokkien and Hakka, tho I believe the status of volume contours is controversial. In Malay, the prefixes ber- and me[N]-, and the suffixes -kan, -lah and -kah are highly productive, so that the occurrence of a /b/ or /m/ most often signals the beginning of a compound word. /p/ often occurs in the prefix per-, but this is usually itself prefixed by me[N]-, becoming memper-. So /p/ often signals the beginning of the second morpheme of a word, but sometimes of the first. Still, all of /b, m, p/ occur in other positions as well. So we have nothing as thoroughgoing as brz or Plan B here - just very strong tendencies associating a phoneme with a place in a word. Nothing more than the statistical result of the evolution of the language, I guess, as its speakers have exploited those features they found most useful ... Regards, Yahya -- No virus found in this outgoing message. Checked by AVG Anti-Virus. Version: 7.0.344 / Virus Database: 267.11.6/111 - Release Date: 23/9/05 -- No virus found in this outgoing message. Checked by AVG Anti-Virus. Version: 7.0.344 / Virus Database: 267.11.8/113 - Release Date: 27/9/05