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Sathir Phonology (Question Included)

From:David J. Peterson <thatbluecat@...>
Date:Friday, April 11, 2003, 18:34
As promised, here's my new languages: Sathir.   I thought since everyone else
had an ergative language, I should have one too.   This one was influenced by
Malagasy, Dyirbil, Middle Egyptian, Tagalog, Fijian, Ancient Greek and
English.   It's VOS, split-ergative, infixing, head-initial and has a
definite/indefinite system that invades the whole languages
(definite/indefinite, future/non-future [or, shall we say, yet to be
determined and fixed in time], mobile/immobile, etc.).   I'll limit
discussion to its phonology, though.   Here goes:


Vowels: /a/ /E/ /i/ /O/ /u/
Stops: /p/ /t/ /k/ /p_h/ /t_h/ /k_h/ /p_w/ /t_w/ /k_w/
Fricatives: /s/ /h/ /S/
Nasals: /m/ /n/ /N/
Approximants: /l/ /4/ /j/

Syllable Structure: V, VC, CV, CVC   (only /n/, /S/, /s/, /l/, /r/ and /h/
can be coda consonants; the following can occur in the vowel slot: /a, e, i,
o, u, ia, ie, io, iu, ua, ue, uo, ui, au/.   Also, *C_wu, *ru, *lu and *Si.
This'll be explained later.)

Allphonic Rules:
1.) /a, O/ > [@] / _V...V...V[+stress], or V[+stress]_
2.) /h/ > nothing / V_C, or V_#; /h/ > [C] / _[i]
3.) V > V: / _/h/C or _/h/#
4.) /p_h, t_h, k_h/ > [P, T, x] / V_V
5.) /p_w, t_w, k_w/ > [B, D_w, w] / V_V
6.) /p, t, k/ > [b, d, g] / V_V
7.) /pp, tt, kk/ > [p, t, k] / V_V
8.) /44/ > [r]
9.) /nn, mm, NN/ > [n, m, N]
10.) /ll/ > [j]
11.) /n/ > [m] / _C[+bilab.]; /n/ > [J] / _C[+pal.]; /n/ > [N] / _C[+velar]
12.) /s/ > [z] / V_V
13.) /ss/ > [s]
14.) /si/ > [S] / _V
15.) /S/ > [Z] / V_V
16.) /SS/ > [S]
18.) /rl, lr/ > [r]
19.) /t/ > [tS] / _i
20.) /tS/ > [dZ] / V_V
21.) Reduplication simplifies; stress is retained (i.e., CVCV > CV, and VCVC >
22.) /li/ > [j] / _V
23.) /j/ > [Z] / _[i] (Note: /ll/ does not.)

1.) Since /si/ became [S], no words will *orthographically* look like
/Si.../.   There will either be /si.../ or /S[not i].../.
2.) /ru, lu/ became /r, l/.   This left some fixing to be done, though, and
this is the result:
(a) kanru > *kanr, so the liquid and vowel metathesize, leaving kanru >
(b) ru > *r, or lun > *ln, so /u/ becomes [au], leaving ru > rau, and lun >
(c) karunta > *karnta, so the liquid (either /l/ or /r/) becomes [u], leaving
karunta > kaunta.

The rules apply in that order.

My question is this:

I like having a contrast between voiced stops and voiceless in between
vowels, but that leaves me with having to have geminate stops, which should
be impossible, since coda [p, t, k] is not possible.   This would leave me
with the possibility of positing a geminate phoneme, which would leave me
with something to do with it in initial position.   I'm not sure how to
resolve this.   Any ideas?



Christophe Grandsire <christophe.grandsire@...>