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Boreanesian phonology (was: Re: Allophones or Separate Phonemes?

From:And Rosta <a.rosta@...>
Date:Tuesday, March 9, 1999, 18:44
> And Rosta wrote: > >Kristian: > >> Because there aren't any specific IPA symbols representing > >> pharyngeal approximants. So I could have chosen other symbols, > >> but I didn't. Besides, in the modern language they are now > >> realized as voiced and voiceless velar approximants in syllable- > >> final position - at the phonemic level, that is. So the turned m > >> with a long right leg seems appropriate. > > > >I see: that makes sense. Though, BTW, the IPA does provide away for > >diacriticizing symbols for fricatives to make them signify the > >corresponding approximant: for apical/laminal/dorsal fricatives > >the lowering diacritic is used (currently a small T beneath, I > >think; I've no up-to-date chart here). > > > That's true, the diacritic is a small T. But I could also have used > the symbol for a velar approximant with another dicaritic: a > diacritic for retraction, currently a small line beneath. Without > any specific sign for a pharyngeal approximant, options are > nummerous. > > -----<large snip>----- > > > >What does the Boreanesian writing system itself do? (The Livagian > >ones represent only the lexical level of phonology.) > > Good Idea!! Maybe if I describe the Boreanesian writing system then > maybe you can identify what's going on with the > non-similar-sounding-but-in-complementary-distribution-and-historica > lly-identical sounds of Boreanesia. > > The Boreanesian script is a syllabary script. Or perhaps we should > call it a moraebary script in that every letter represents a mora. > In the grammar I have divided them formally into two types, onset > mora letters and offset mora letters. > > There are 16 onset mora letters representing a CV sequence. The V > segment is inherently a schwa /@/, but this can be modified into /i/ > /a/ or /u/ by using diacritics (just like the Indic scripts of > Asia). The complete grid is as follows: > > k@ N@ t@ n@ t[@ n[@ p@ m@ ?@ j@ l@ w@ h@ s@ L@ x@ > ka Na ta na t[a n[a pa ma ?a ja la wa ha sa La xa > ki Ni ti ni t[i n[i pi mi ?i ji li wi hi si Li xi > ku Nu tu nu t[u n[u pu mu ?u ju lu wi hu su Lu xu
What are the realizations of /x/, /h/, and /L/?
> Thus, the first row represents the inherent onset mora letters, the > other rows represent modified letters. > > There allophones in the chart palatalizing the dental oral and nasal > stops (_t[_ and _n[_ and _s_ before _i_. > > There are 5 offset mora letters representing the coda of closed > syllables, represented here as X. This X segment is inherently a > stiff phonation ending in a glottal stop (ie., X?). But this can be > modified into slack phonation, or X ending in voicelessness of h > (ie., Xh), by the use of a diacritic. The complete grid is as > follows (I'll represent the oral velar approximant by _@_ and the > nasalized counterpart by _N_): > > @? j? l? w? N? > @h jh lh wh Nh
Do similarities between shapes of Boreanesian characters reflect similarities in phonological properties (as is the case with the tengwar, and with Livagian scripts)? If so, then although your inventory of discrete graphemes strikes me as optimal (given what I have previously learnt of Boreanesian morpheme structure), similarities between shapes might, for example, reflect such patterns as onset @ i u a offset @ j w l [re. a::l - this is not as far-fetched as it sounds: it has been suggested that coronality is the consonantal/nonnuclear manifestation of lowness in vowels.] et cetera.
> Both onset and offset mora letters are combined to form syllables. A > light syllable with only a mora in length is represented by an onset > mora letter, a heavy syllable with two mora in length is represented > by a onset mora letter followed by a offset mora letter. An offset > mora letter by itself cannot form a word. Three types of syllables > can be thus be represented schematically as: > > CV - light syllable > CVX? - heavy syllable with stiff phonation > CVXh - heavy syllable with slack phonation > > More allophones arise when onset mora letters are combined with > offset mora letters. A _-@?_ or _-@h_ following a V segment with a > central vowel _@_ or _a_ is "monophthongized": _C@:?_, _C@:h_, > _Ca:?_, or _Ca:h_ depending on the combination. Similarly, _-j?_ and > _-jh_ "monophthongizes" following a front vowel: _Ci:?_ and _Ci:h_. > Similar for _-w?_ and _-wh_ after a back vowel _u_. > > Even though the offsets _-@?_ and _-@h_ are in complementary > distribution with the onsets _?-_ and _h-_ respectively, and evolved > historically from the same phoneme in the protolanguage (voiced and > voiceless pharyngeal approximants), they are not represented by > letters that resemble each other in any way. The same goes for _-j?_ > and _j-_, _-jh_ and _s-_, _-l?_ and _l-_, _-lh_ and _L-_, _-w?_ and > _w-_, _-wh_ and _x-_. The script represents onsets and rhymes by > different symbols altogether.
Are you interpreting all this as revealing about the nature of Boreanesian phonology? Or do you allow that the writing system might be somewhat "imperfect"?
> I suppose some kind of native Boreanesian language tendencies has > developed so much in me that the Boreanesian in me tells me to > represent onsets, rhymes, codas, and phonation by different symbols > altogether - even when I know that Romanized scripts like the IPA > doesn't but represents things as segments.
But the IPA is for representation of phonetics, not phonology. I think it is beyond dispute that a decent description of Boreanesian phonology must be formulated in terms of structural units such as onsets, etc. The remaining unresolved issue is whether the elements forming the content of these structural units are the same for the different sorts of unit. E.g. is /j-/::/-i/::/-j/ an element "I" located in onset, nucleus and coda respectively?
> Currently, in the grammar I'm writing, I am in fact representing the > Boreanesian language through a version of the IPA where digraphs > represent a mora - much like digraphs in the two charts I have just > made. That is; a CV sequence represents one onset mora, and a X? or > Xh sequence represents stiff or slack offset moras repsectively. Its > practical in the sense that every mora can easily be identified - > every mora represented by two letters. The result may look cluttered > and long, but once you understand the allophonic rules involved its > quite easy (for me at least). What do you think about that?
I don't see why you can't use the roman alphabet - with a few diacritics here and there it would be up to the job, as your asciification shows. I rather dislike the use of IPA symbols in phonological notation.
> -----<snip>----- > > >> >> Comments, please! > >> > > >> >My comment is that I very much hope that you *will* study > >> > >> >linguistics at university. > >> > >> We'll see about that. I have 'til after summer to make a final > >> decision. 8-) > > > >Have you checked whether it is possible to do Anthro + Lx together? > > > I've been pretty busy lately, but I have set a date this week to > talk with the people at the university. > > -kristian- 8-)
I look forward to hearing how the meeting went. I hope you'll be persistent in trying to get what you want. Remember that most university teachers are only too pleased to have students who are both talented and enthusiastic, and their desire to teach such students generally overcomes the get-lost-and-stop-taking-up-my-valuable-time, I'm-doing-you-a-massive-and-inadequately-rewarded-favour-by-having- anything-to-do-with-you attitude prevalent in academia. --And.