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Vallian (was: "Re: How to minimize "words" (was 'Re: isolating conlangs')")

From:Jeff Rollin <jeff.rollin@...>
Date:Sunday, February 25, 2007, 5:26
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Jeff Rollin <jeff.rollin@...>
Date: 25-Feb-2007 04:22
Subject: Re: Vallian (was: "Re: How to minimize "words" (was 'Re: isolating
To: Constructed Languages List <CONLANG@...>

Hi Damian

On 25/02/07, Damian Yerrick <tepples@...> wrote:
> > "Jeff Rollin" <jeff.rollin@...> wrote: > > The main problem I see is that C could become seriously overloaded: > one > > system I have considered using involves "c" for /ts/, c-caron for > /tS/, > > c-dot for the palatal plosive and c-cedilla for the palatal fricative; > does > > anyone (else) think this could be seriously confusing? I am open to > using > > "x" for the velar or uvular fricative, but whichever I represent with > it, > > what about the other, and what could I use to avoid writing "ks" at > the end > > of words? > > > > As far as possible I should like to resist the "Klingon approach" of > using > > capital letters to denote separate sounds, as this is orthographically > ugly > > (as one can imagine, a beautiful orthography was no issue in the > > transcription of Klingon!). I don't object to using q and Q, > (respectively > > for the glottal and uvular stop) though, for some reason (!). (If you > want > > to persuade me, attempt to persuade me that this will increase the > > orthographic similarity to Bantu, hint!) > > > > I would also like to be able to use some single letters for affricates > (the > > ones I envisage using are /ts/ /tS/ /tT/ /cC/ and maybe /kx/ /qX/. Any > > ideas? > > Rich phonemic inventory, Latin alphabet, few digraphs, few diacritics, > letter case not used as a diacritic. Pick four. Would you be open to > constructing a neography and adopting a romanization that uses digraphs?
Well, my romanization /does/ use digraphs if you count the h's, w's and y's used to mark aspiration, labialisation and palatalisation, and the nasals used to mark, er, nasalisation! I also have umlauts for the front-vowel counterparts to a, o, u. If I were to incorporate tones I would also need at least the acute accent to mark high tone (and probably the circumflex to mark high tone on umlauted vowels). I have considered forcing all components of a compound to harmonize with the vowels of the first element of the compound (which is typologically unusual for vowel harmony systems), so if I used umlauts only on the first vowel of the word (or on vowels which do not bear a tone accent) i would then be free to use grave, circumflex etc. for other tones. I have also considered a pitch-accent system, but I don't think this is compatible with stress, even if it is none-contrastive (on the first syllable, as in Uralic); is this correct? The system I have so far is as follows: (X(a) = transcription as in X-SAMPA, x(b) = proposed transliteration): 1a) /p, t_d, t`, c, k, q, ?, m, n_d, n`, J, N, N\, r, 4, r`, T, s, S, Z, s`, C, x, X, h, P, W, w, l, l`, L, 1b) p, t, t (underlined t), ĉ (c-circumflex), k, Q, q, m, n, n (underlined n), ñ (enye), ŋ (eng), rr, r, ŧ/þ (t with stroke/thorn), s, š (s with caron), ž (z with caron), s (underlined s), ç (c cedilla), x, ħ (h with stroke), h, v, w, wh, l, l (underlined l), ll (doubled "l" = l·l (l middle-dot l) Notes: i. T-with-stroke sounds good as some varieties of Sami, a Uralic language, use it. ii. I could use s-cedilla, etc in place of s-with-caron, but that would conflict with c-cedilla, and s-with-caron is also used in some Uralic languages) 2a) t_T, t_s, t_S, (c_x, c_C), 2b) (undecided), c, č, (undecided...) 3a) /p_h, t_d_h, t'_h, c_h, k_h, q_h, T_h, s_h, Z_h, s`_h, C_h, x_h, X_h t_T_h, t_s_h, t_S_h, (c_x_h, c_C_h) 3b) all with postposed h, perhaps "th" for proposed "thh", etc. 4a) /p_j, t_d_j, t`_j, c_j, k_j, q_j, ?_j, m_j, n_d_j, n`_j, N_j, N\_j, r_y, 4_j, r`_j, T_j, s_j, S_j, Z_j, s`_j, C_j, x_j, X_j, P_j, l_j, l`_j t_T_j, t_s_j, t_S_j, (c_x_j, c_C_j)/ 4b) all with postposed y, perhaps with postposed ' before consonants and finally, e.g. "ty", "t'k") 5a) /p_w, t_d_w, k_w, q_w, ?_w, c_w, m_w, n_d_w, J_w, N_w, N\_w, r_w, 4_w, T_w, s_w, S_w, Z_j, C_w, x_w, l_w t_T_w, t_s_w, t_S_w, (c_x_w, c_C_w)/ 5b) all with postposed w, perhaps with " or ° before consonants (Nenets, a uralic language, uses ° for what has been described as a "reduced vowel") 6a) ~b, ~d_d, ~t`, ~J\, ~g, ~G, ~D, ~z, ~Z, ~z`, ~G, ~d_D, ~d_z, ~d_Z, (~J\_G, ~J\_j\)/ 6b) This is the complicated one: since prenasalised stops/post-stopped nasals do not contrast with clusters initially, i would use: Initial: mp, nt, nt (underlined "nt"), nx, nk, nĝ (g with circumflex), nŧ/þ (t with stroke/thorn), ns, ñš (enye, s with circumflex) ñž (enye, z with circumflex), ns, ("ns" with underline), ŋğ (eng, g with caron), undecided... Final: Under the revised proposed system here, (no prenasalised r, s, etc.), the only relevant prenasalised consonant is ~d_d, for which it is acceptable to use either "nd" or "nt" (the second of which would provide a nice bit of ambiguity) Medial: mb, nd, nd, undecided, ŋg/ng*, nđ/nðnđ/ð (d with stroke/edh), nz, nž, nz, *Since the sequence /Ng/ exists independently, I don't know whether it would be better to use ng for /Ng/ or ~g. Compared to all that, the vowels are incredibly easy: /a, e, i, o, u, {, 9, y, (E, O, 7, M (@))/ a, e, i, o, u, ä (a umlaut), ö (o umlaut), ü/ÿ (u/y umlaut)*, (ε**, ?***, õ, ũ, ĕ/ě/Ə) *u-umlaut would be more consistent and is in accordance w/ Estonian practice, y-umlaut is similar to y (used for /y/ in Finnish but here "y" is used to denote palatalisation.) **Greek epsilon, also used for E in the IPA **As I've used epsilon, I looked for the open "o" used for O in the IPA, but the font I was using doesn't have it) If I put tones in, I would then have more problems: á, é, í, ó, ú, (ê) are fine for high toned a, e, i, o, u, ä, ö, ü/ÿ, (ě/ε) (with low toned marks, but what about õ, /O/, ũ, ĕ/ě, or a three-tone system? Anyone have any comments on this transcription? The aspirated, palatalised, and labialised consonants arise through lenition of clusters with /h/, /j/, and /w/ as a second component. The pre-nasalised consonants arise through lenition of clusters with the stops as second component (so perhaps it would be better to reanalyze them as post-stopped nasals).
> I.e., given a language in which "pam" could be a word, but not "pram" > > (because of a restriction on consonant clusters in initial position) > are > > languages any words in which "spam" could be a word, despite the > > aforementioned restriction, due to pre-fricativized consonants? > > It's possible that <spam> would be parsed as "s pam", where "s" is a > syllabic consonant. Japanese does this, where "Spain" is romanized > <Supein>, under the rule that <u> and <i> between voiceless > consonants tend to become mute. Heck, Spanish itself does this, > where <España> is parsed as "es pa ña".
Hmm, well "e" is a full "e" (as in "bueno"), so I don't think that applies. I can certainly see /s/ becoming vocalized (like /r/ in Slovene), though. (Arguably it does in English - "pssst!")
> I'm trying to get rid of pronouns; does anyone know of a language > > which uses no pronouns (not even nouns instead of pronouns, like > > Japanese) at all? > > Justin Rye doesn't seem to think so: > > > CONTEXTUALITY > > Meanwhile, phenomena that are directly apparent or previously > > established can be referred back to by means of special shortcut > > forms - pronouns and point-of-view-dependent expressions as in > > "you were behind them". Aliens with no way of expressing the > > first person (even as "this person now speaking") are unlikely -- > > they'd need unique absolute identifiers for every person, place, > > moment and event!
Well, for one thing Japanese does well without pronouns most of the time, for another, although I'm "trying to get rid of pronous", I'd be using pronominal affixes for agent, subject/patient, and indirect object on the verb! The question is whether I can get away with using only them, rather than having a set of pronouns as well. "Jeff Rollin" <jeff.rollin@GMAIL.COM > wrote:
> > > If I used a general "root" meaning "thing", or "object" (as in Bantu, > > -ntu, where "ubu-ntu" means something like "thing for humanity") > > which could take possessive, predestinative, gender, number, and > > case affixes, I could get rid of possessive and demonstratives > > Your word for "thing" would be reanalyzed as a pronoun, where > your "papery-object" would be reanalyzed as a noun class.
I suppose so; let me be more precise, then - pronominal affixes on the verb for A, S/P. and IO, "conjugated postpositions" for the other roles.
> Gender/noun-class: I'm trying to move beyond the traditional > > masculine/feminine(/neuter) gender distinction into a Bantu-inspired > > noun-class system for things like professionals, one for languages, > and one > > for inhabitants ( e.g. as if one said "the wise-r bak-er", "the > > passionate-an Itali-an", "broken-ish Engl-ish". Has anyone designed a > > language like this? > > Heard of Dilingo?
Nope, I'll look it up.
> 5. Palatalised consonants, even in the face of words like "atja" > /atja/ > > (bird) are easy, since the Roman alphabet has both j and y, which can > be > > used for either palatalisation or a [j] phoneme, and "j" is not used > for > > anything else (such as Z, the "s" in "pleasure"). However, > combinations such > > as "nyk" and even "nyj" are ugly and are apt to be pronounced by > English > > speakers as "nick" and "nidge" anyway - any thoughts? (Perhaps > palatalised > > consonants in clusters (and at the end of words) should be denoted > by -j- > > instead of -y-?) > > Pronouncing /anjka/ like Ms. Sörenstam's name would just be > considered the English gringo accent.
> 6. Labialised and aspirated consonants also present a problem, > > since the language can have both aspirated "t" and "t" followed > > by "h" (and other combinations) > > Wouldn't these tend to fall together within a generation or two as the > children learn the language?
Possibly, but some languages have (for example) /ts/ and /t_s/, so not necessarily. I envisage Vallian having one other characteristic of Finnish - phonologically, it is extremely conservative, particularly where consonants are concerned.
> and the Roman alphabet has no variations on h or w analogous > > to the j/y split. > > The u/w split? Spanish doesn't have <w>, but it has <hu>. > > Unfortunately <hu> is already taken for /hu/ (the sound of "who" or "hoo" > in "hoot", at least in my dialect). I suppose I could find an accent for u > though. >
Jeff -- Now, did you hear the news today? They say the danger's gone away But I can hear the marching feet Moving into the street Adapted from Genesis, "Land of Confusion"


Jeff Rollin <jeff.rollin@...>