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Re: Ubykh phonology

From:Danny Wier <dawier@...>
Date:Friday, June 16, 2000, 2:57
A belated _doomo arigatoo_...

>From: Rob Nierse <rnierse@...>
>Danny Wier asked for the Ubykh phonology >yesterday. Here it is: > >1. b b- d d0 3 3^ 3^0 3*' 3* g` g >2. p p- t t0 c c^c^0 c*' c* k` k k0 q` q q0 q- q-0 >3. p' p-' t' t'0 c' c^'c^'0 c*' c*' l-' k`' k' k'0 q`' q' q'0 q'- q-'0 > >4. v v- z z^ z^0 z*' z*0 z* l g^ g* g g* >5. f s s^ s^0 s*' s*0 s* l- x^ x*` x* x*0 x- x-0 h >sonorants: m w, m- w-, n y r > >1.= voiced, 2.= voiceless, 3.= ejective 4.=voiced fric >5.=voiceless fricative
Sergei Starostin claims (and he's got a good case -- see his site at to have created a Pan-Caucasian lexicon (Caucasian meaning North Caucasian, excluding Kartvelian). He came up with a pretty large consonant inventory, but also a seven-vowel system, which is much different than the paltry vowel systems of Abkhaz, Adyghe, Kabardian and this Ubykh. I am aware of Abkhaz's numerous labialized and palatized consonants, as well as the three-way structure of voiced-voiceless-ejective stops/affricates. I did not know that Ubykh has pharyngealized consonants along with palatized and labialvelarized -- and labiopalatized too?! (Uh oh, now I have to add another three hundred consonant phonemes to Tech... ;)
>A lot of diacritics, so I have to explain something: >- = pharyngialisation >0 = labialisation >3 = j as in English "Jim" (alveolar) <--- you mean /dz/ right? >^= palatal >l-= tl as in Aztec "tletl" >c= ts >*=caron
What do the ' and ` represent? Yeah, hard to represent a language such as this in ASCII. What was Ubykh written in, scriptwise? I assume Latin since the remnant of the Ubykh community (the language might already be dead) is in Istanbul. Or maybe Arabic...
>And now for the vowels: > >@, e, a
Heh... all those consonants and three vowels. I read that there may only be two phonemic vowels, with /e/ being an allophone. (Abkhaz, a sister language in NW Caucasian, has two vowel phonemes @, a; with allophonic distribution i-@-u and e-a-o. It's written with a pretty clever modification of Cyrillic; check out the codepages at Tech incidentally has between seven and ten vowels -- don't quite know yet. Consonant phonology is pretty much decided on; I posted it some months ago, but [and y'all be in for a shock] I didn't include labio-palatized, pharyngealized, and labio-pharyngealized consonants, which results in a consonant phonology somewhere around 600-700... DaW. ________________________________________________________________________ Get Your Private, Free E-mail from MSN Hotmail at