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A Self-segregating morphology (was: Guinea pigs invited)

From:Gary Shannon <fiziwig@...>
Date:Friday, December 16, 2005, 16:20
--- Larry Sulky <larrysulky@...> wrote:

> Early Konya (my previous effort) featured only one > distinguishing > vowel per root; all vowels other than the first one > were reduced, and > spelled simply as "a". (But it still had a CV > syllable structure, so > no consonant cluster patterns to help with > deciphering.) > > Unfortunately, this phonotactic scheme gave the > language a rather > 'flat', unmusical sound. > > --larry >
How about this for a self-segregating morphology with a non-flat sound: (self-segregating at the word boundry, but not at the root+root boundry withi8n a word.) First vowel determines the length of the word in syllables. Remaining vowels can be anything. If you hear "ki" then you know that's the complete word because "i" is the vowel of a one-syllable word like "ki", "mi", "xi", etc. ("xi" pronounced like English "she") If you hear "ka" then you know to expect a second syllable, e.g.: "kanu", or "kapo" because "a" is the initial vowel of a two syllable word: "hali", "baxo", "daku", etc. If you hear "ke" then expect two more syllables, (e.g. "kedoxi", "kenatu"). or with other consonants: "yenitu", "hezula", etc. If you hear "ko" (or "go" or "mo"...) expect three more syllables: "kotanemu", "gomaxusi", "mogadixu". If you hear "ku" ("hu", "tu", "pu" ...) expect four more syllables: "kunamaxito", hulapanuxi", "guwanakoso", etc. To cover very long words, when the first and second syllable both have the same vowel expect the word to be double the normal length: "komotegulimaxusu", or "kakadaso". Vowels are irrelevant to the identity of the word, so when words are compounded the first vowel is changed to match the new word length: "galo" + "haki" = "golohaki"; "ki" + "kedaso" = "kokedaso", OR "kakadaso". With a few other rules about which vowels may follow which consonants in which contexts it would not even be necessary to write the vowels down at all. Thus "mgdx" could only be "Mogadixu", or possibly "magadixu". But such a subtle difference wouldn't be important to the meaning of the word. While not visually self-segregating when written without vowels, it would still be audibly self-segregating. With perhaps a few dozen "standard" vowel sequence patterns, possibly choosen based on intial consonant, the language could have a very melodic and varied cadence. For example, suppose that two-syllable words beginning in "k" use the pattern "au", four-syllable words beginning with "d" always used the pattern "oaiu" while four-syllable words beginning with "n" always used the pattern "aaui". Thus "g dxtk kn ntpt" could only possibly be "gi doxatiku kanu nataputi", which is not at all flat and monotonous, yet remains audibly self-segregating and completely determined even without writing down the vowels. --gary


Jim Henry <jimhenry1973@...>
Patrick Littell <puchitao@...>