The most common sounds (Was: Re: backwards conlanging)
|From:||H. S. Teoh <hsteoh@...>|
|Date:||Tuesday, November 28, 2000, 4:15|
On Mon, Nov 27, 2000 at 10:16:29PM -0500, Yoon Ha Lee wrote:
> I have a stupid boring /i/ /e/ /a/ /o/ /u/ vowel system, with two
> diphthongs. I guess I'll have to figure out something more complicated
> that could've simplified down to the 5-vowel system.[snip]
Hmm, this gets me thinking... I wonder what are the most common sounds
that are found in almost every language? From the few languages that I
know, it seems that the following sounds are most common:
[a] [i] [o] [u]
[ai] (or [aj]) [au]
[b] [d] [t] [k]
It seems to me that usually what makes a language's phonetic inventory
unique is the different set of fricatives/approximants/trills employed.
Seems that languages diverge more on those sounds than on the simpler
stops and unrounded vowels.
Why is the sea always restless? Its bed is too rocky to sleep on.