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Lingustic Experiences (was: Phonation or Register Tones)

From:Kristian Jensen <kljensen@...>
Date:Wednesday, January 20, 1999, 17:11
Thomas Wier wrote:

>Kristian Jensen wrote:
>> It appears that tonal conlangs are common enough. But I dare say
>> that there are not many conlangs with contrastive phonations. >> Some languages contrast creaky voice, modal voice, and breathy >> voice at the syllable level. I have heard that many Austro- >> Asiatic languages do this as well as a few Amerind languages. In >> any case, it is quite rare the world over. Could this account for >> why this might be rare among conlangs?
>I doubt it. The structure of most conlangs is, for the most part, >a product of the creators linguistic experience. A great many >otherwise rare features might be present if that's what the >creator's experience dictates. You have to get way up into >linguistic theory and knowledge about obscure languages before >these rare features' presence or absence is the result of a person
>deciding to put them in or not.
That makes sense. For me at least, I chose to implement phonation in Boreanesian after reading about them. Then I realized that the languages I speak had these features to a certain degree. So I did some more research about them to understand them properly. Afterwhich I now know how they are implemented in Boreanesian. I'm curious as to how Kenji decided to implement pharyngealized vowel harmony in his conlang Sayat. I have read that this is a feature of Tungusic languages of which Sayat is supposedly a member of. Does that mean that Kenji's linguistic experience includes some knowledge in speaking a Tungusic language, or is it just purely based on research, or is it a combination of both? Similarly, I decided to implement a trigger system for Boreanesian when I discovered that one of the languages I speak (Tagalog) had them. I then did a heck of a lot of research into the subject, discovered that not many linguists agree on the nature of triggers, then decided to create my own theories on trigger languages. My own understanding and theory of triggers has thus been applied to Boreanesian. In many ways, Boreanesian might be seen as an extreme case demonstrating my theories on triggers. These are linguistic experiences... indeed. Everyone, I'm interested in hearing what linguistic experiences triggered the creation of your respective conlangs. Regards, -Kristian- 8-)