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Proboscidean phonology

From:Geoff Horswood <geoffhorswood@...>
Date:Wednesday, December 15, 2004, 12:48
So there I was, humming a humorous song about an elephant who decides to
get amnesia so he could have an easy life, when I thought, "I wonder what a
language spoken by intelligent proboscideans would sound like?"  It was a
slow day at work, so I decided to see what I could come up with.

My guess is (knowing next to nothing about the physiology of the elephant's
vocal apparatus) that probably the stops would become nasalised, you might
get some odd phonemes connected with the trunk, and I couldn't think of
much else.

But anyway, this is my Proboscidean (as a working name for a conlang
sketch) phonology.  Comments welcomed.


   m    m_O  n    m_O            N    N_O
   m=        n=                  N=
   B    p\   s    z    S    Z    G    x
Q* f_Q  v_Q  s_Q  z_Q  S_Q  Z_Q  G_Q  x_Q
             r    r`
             l    l`

*Q  a sort of nasal blow.  I'm using _Q to mean "with nasal blowing".  Any
ideas for how to represent this would be appreciated.


w    j

and possibly high and low tones, just to play with them and see if I can
get more comfortable with the things.

As far as the creatures themselves go, I'm thinking to give them a little
more dexterity than a terrestrial elephant by increasing both number and
length of the finger-like extensions on the end of the trunk- possibly up
to as many as 8, in four pairs around the trunk.

No vocabulary or grammar as yet, but it's an interesting idea, don't you

BTW, has anyone tried to come up with an elephant conlang before?



Rodlox <rodlox@...>