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Help Weird Up My Orthography, Sound Changes?

From:Shreyas Sampat <ssampat@...>
Date:Monday, August 22, 2005, 17:55
> Hi Shreyas, welcome back! :-)
Hi, thanks! I missed y'all(:
> :-) My current project S11 also uses Latin orthography -- it might > even be kept as it is since I especially like the assignment of > graphemes to vowels: > > <a e i o u ä ë ï ö ü> > /A e i o u & 7 M 2 y/
Woo, it's been too long, I had to go look up some of those vowels.
> s, S, s` are funny. :-) > And m, n_0, n, n`, N. > > <j> for retroflex seems weird to me, but maybe I just need to > think French [Z] instead of German [j], then its clearer.
The <j> directly imitates the comma-below, which turns out to be less pretty in many cases (oddly enough). It was more or less the only letter that wasn't doing significant work elsewhere, and simultaneously didn't look bizarre (like <q> would have). It might also help to think of Sanskrit's ruki rule - high front vowels occasionally cause Sein' retroflexion.
> Hmm. How about introducing complex, irregular sandhi? And dont > insert helping apostrophes or dashes. :-)
>.> <.< It's tempting! I think at one point I had noun-incorporation in my verbs, with some odd phenomena when they came into contact. I'll have to look into it!
> Looks nice and I think it sounds good, if I pronounce it correctly > (although I'm bad at gemination together with vowel length, so > /kirik:i:s:ne/ is a bit difficult). How does stress work?
I'd expect the length distinction in vowels to become a tense-lax pattern in casual speech. Stress is primary on the rightmost long vowel of the stem, or the rightmost syllable of the stem if there's no long vowel, and alternates syllables; it'll admit two unstressed syllables in a row if this allows it to stress another long vowel.
> I'm curious about the grammar.
There're probably some cool tidbits about it in the Arda-lang Yahoogroup archives, but as I've forgotten a lot of it, I'll be redeciphering it and posting about it occasionally.
> **Henrik
> If you're developing it diachronically from an ancestor > language, maybe you could conserve historical spelling > in some of the most common words.
Interesting thought. That could be very useful, in fact, since several function words that were distinct in the ancestor (*ANE and *NE > <né>) have collapsed in Sein'. ...Also, maybe it'd be fun to retain <q> /T/ for words with *Q /?/...
> Or maybe you could make do with a smaller subset > of the Latin alphabet and make more extensive use > of digraphs and context-dependent pronunciation > of digraphs and single letters, to simulate the speakers > of the language having adapted an alphabet > from a language with a much smaller phoneme > inventory. This might depend on the language's > phonotactic constraints, e.g., if there's a context > that /s`/ can occur in and /s/ cannot, then in that > context you could just write |s| for /s`/ while > continuing to write it |sj| in contexts where > /s/ could also occur.
This would require a lot of cleverness, but be rewarding, I think. I haven't really figured out how Sein' phonotactics work yet, as it's derived mechanically via sound changes. Speaking of which, does anyone know of a sound change applier that works in OS X? Previously I was using Sounds on my Win box, but that's no longer an option.
> Jim Henry
Thanks for the ideas, guys!


Henrik Theiling <theiling@...>