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Kisuna,a language with six segmental phonemes: preliminary sketch

From:Tom Wier <artabanos@...>
Date:Wednesday, May 24, 2000, 0:57
Roger Mills wrote:

> >that Japanese has two words pronounced "kansai", one "kankai", and FOUR > >"kansui". In addition, Japanese has a "nansai" and three "sansai". If > >Japanese can get by with this degree of packing in the same arbitrarily > >picked area of "phonology space", perhaps Kisuna isn't as unnatural as it > seems at first.> > > As Nik pointed out, you might use accent to distinguish pairs.....
You could probably get more bang for your buck by using tonal variants rather than pitch accents. Tones allow for greater segmental variation, depending on how complex you allow it to become. (Most tonal languages have just two tones -- high and low -- but that's by no means the only possible setup.)
> >Another difference between Kisuna and English is that long words aren't > analyzable into components as their English equivalents often are. > Examples: > > English Kisuna > tele-vis-ion kaninus> etc........
A certain amount of derivational morphology is, typologically speaking, well nigh necessary. Since all human societies have always felt the need to categorize the phenomena of the world around them, this often shows up in the structure of their discourse. Exactly to what extent they (and by extension any conlangers proposing to model human societies) do that is of course variable, but that they do it is quite certain. (I am of course assuming that this language is to be used in a human society; if not, then the above might not apply. But if it didn't apply, it would have to be in a thoroughly Daoist society which sees no virtually distinctions or abstractions in nature at all!) =========================================== Tom Wier <artabanos@...> "Cogito ergo sum, sed credo ergo ero." ===========================================