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CONLANG Digest - 15 May 2000 to 16 May 2000 (#2000-134)

From:Muke Tever <alrivera@...>
Date:Wednesday, May 17, 2000, 6:21
> From: Tom Wier <artabanos@...> > Subject: Re: more English orthography > > Well, yes, there are some dialects in the UK that are pretty
> shall we say. But for the vast majority of English speakers around the
> (multiple hundreds of millions of them), there is an extraordinary
> between dialects compared to, say, German or Mandarin etc. More > problematic would probably be morphphonemic alternation between pairs > of related words: <divine> /dIvaIn/ on the one hand, <divinity>
> on the other.
In my current evil master plan, that's "divîne", "divinity". (And if my evil master plan bears simplification, I may even be able to omit the diacritic.)
> Those who favor it often have wildly idealistic notions of the > extent to which society would be willing to change one of the fundamental > underpinnings of tradition, the written word, and often don't really have
> of a grasp of the complexity of the language to boot.
Well, I (for one) don't pretend to have the power to impose a spelling reform on anybody, but I'll keep it on hand in case I ever become a dictator of a small island country....
> From: Nik Taylor <fortytwo@...> > Subject: Re: more English orthography
> Admittedly, I exaggerated the problem, and it does depend on > how phonemic you need it.
> But still, the major problem remains - re-educating all the people who > learned the old spelling. Not to mention that any spelling reform is an > impossible dream, and so, unless its just for personal purposes, I don't > see the point of speculating about anyhow.
Well, _mine_ is just for a conlang. But I doubt spelling reform is _impossible._ Has _no_ modern language ever done it? Besides, all the people who were raised on the old spelling won't last forever anyway. >;p
> > "igh" as /Igh/ (/I/ is English "short i", isn't it?) > > bighorn (sheep), bighearted, bighead > > Okay, granted. However, those are compound words, simply a final -ig > that happens to be followed by an initial h-. Any system using digraphs > is going to have that problem.
There could be a separator mark, like the dot you see in some words in the Spanish alphabet to differentiate 'll' /l:/ from 'll' /j/.
> > "igh" as /Ig/: > > Bordighera (place name) > > Names don't count, as they (especially personal names) often violate > even the most regular orthographies.
Well, yes, but they're there anyway ;)
> > "igh" as /i/ (English "long e") > > Brighid (person) > > Eh? I've never seen that spelled with an h.
Neither have I, but I'm not one to argue with my dictionary...
> > But not in this context, not long _I_... it'd be long _E_ if anything,
as in
> > "Somaliland". > > But, that's a compound word, with final -i (regularly pronounced /i/) > followed by land (which, at least for me, is pronounced /l&nd/, not > /lAnd/)
Yes, but there I mean the -i isn't /aj/ ! You're right that the -land part doesn't match though.
> > Other words with -iland- in them have short I: "philanderer" > > An irregularity. If I didn't know the pronunciation, I'd say /faj/ for > the first syllable. Of course, that's composed of phil- plus -andr-.
I don't think it's an irregularity if it has the same vowel as other -ila- words. Considering that both phil- and -andr- aren't exactly English words either....
> > With just -ila-, you have short i words like _annihilate_, > Short? I say /@'naj(@)lejt/. > > > _assimilate_ > Schwa or zero for me, /@'sim(@)lejt/ > > > _cartilage_ > Schwa. > > > _cilantro_, _compilation_, _dilapidated_, _enchilada_... > Never heard the first, would guess /i/ if I had to. Schwa for the > second, in "dilapidated", the first i is either /I/ or /@/, I can't tell > which one sounds right (possibly free variation), and the second i is > definitely schwa, and a schwa in the last.
But in _none_ of them is the i /aj/ ! (If anything, the i is silent and the l is syllabic.) What I'm saying is I don't see how "iland" for "island" would be read with long I when the regular formation is for 'ila' to have a short (or schwa-ized, ok) I instead. (The pronunciation of A that I gave would probably have to do with the fact that 'iland' looks like a foreign word.) Are there _any_ -ila- words with long I?
> > except for a lot of work on the alphabet). It had eight, p e t a k u sh
> > Take out the spaces, and that looks like it could be a Japanese word. > :-)
> > Is there a standard function of most > > diacritics in European languages, like tilde for nasal vowels, acute
> > for stress, etc? Or do individual languages make them up as they go
> > There's some patterns, like acute or grave is often used for stress, but > nothing "standard". E.g., French uses acute to represent differences in > vowel quality, and some langs use acute for long vowels.
The system I'm working on now uses grave on any vowel to make it @/V (except u, which is that by itself), acute on o and u to make it /u/ as in boot, macron/circumflex for "long" vowels, and dieresis/umlaut for "pronounce this vowel normally." Ex: Thè book, a lúte, àn apple, thè planèt Marš, härrôwing.
> > I don't understand H1 H2 H3 either. One website gives them as /h/, /x/,
> > /xw/, respectively. But MHO they might be "farther back" than that. > > You can't get any further back than /h/! But my question is: what > evidence is there for any specific realization? I know the evidence > that they existed, but what evidence do we have for calling them /h/ or > whatever?
Well, they can sort of make out what they had to be by their effect on vowels. I read a book on the subject a while back and it said something like "one was ä-colored", "one was e-colored" or whatever. Such might help explain what they _aren't_, though.
> > As examples, the numbers (so far) are: > > obo, ûbo, suri, cubore, pecu, sê, sefsem, ozô, noîn, êgem. > > Could you describe the sound changes and orthography? Like, is <c> > /k/? And how'd you get words like _ubo_?
Well, the ^ marks are supposed to be something like creaky voice. [I don't know if that's what it _is_ when I pronounce it, so I'll say it's "something like" it.] ;) Yes, {c} is my conlanger's prettier-to-look-at-than-k /k/. Anyway, as to the sound changes, the most visible part is that voiced stops added creak to the following vowel, then later disappeared themselves. So from PIE *duwo I get Proto-Mukaic *duwo > OM *nûpo > MM ûbo. (Where PM *w became p, and intervocalics were voiced.) Something like 'cubore' is more difficult,... from *kWetwores, you get PM *huetwores, then > OM quetporeh > MM cubore. As I look at it, I think it should more likely be 'cuppore'... Anyway, final -s disappeared, the -tp- was assimilated, and 'qu-e' simplified to 'qu' (writ 'cu'). Can you tell I'm no good at changing vowels? I'd like to break down the changes into a few simple rules but the tools I have weren't too well suited for this (I'll try 'phono' when I get a chance.) I haven't gotten much vocabulary in yet because I need to decide on the inflections/endings/whatever to see what they look like.
> From: Tom Wier <artabanos@...> > Subject: Re: My first conlang (sketch) > > > Strange ! For me, /pr\/ is much easier than /Tr\/ to pronounced. Is
there a
> > reason for this limitation? > > What exactly is /r\/ here? Is it a trill? If so, alveolar, uvular, what?
> maybe a retroflex approximant like English /r/?
/r\/ is "American r", as I've heard it called. /r/ by itself is apparently supposed to be something more like Spanish /r/.
> From: "Carlos Eugenio Thompson (EDC)" <EDCCET@...> > Subject: =?iso-8859-1?Q?RE=3A_Ping=21_=C9nglis=B4_Artspellin?= > > On Þørd Life of Tend,rness, Nìk Tail,r g`rote: > > > "Daniel A. Wier" wrote: > > > Have any ideas for an alternate character that can be found in > > > Latin-1 or Latin Ext-A? > > > > Why not just the digraph _wh_? There's no possibility of confusion, > > except perhaps in compound words like "cowhide", but those could be > > distinguished by an apostrophe. > > > becås ó,n ov my gouls is avoidin` digrafs (î'm allowin` digrafs only in > difþon`s and lon` vow,ls)
Dîgraphs are good for yú! Yànnô, Î alwayš sed it "dipþongš" (p, not f). Hmm... (Yes, 'you' has to become 'yú'. This is because 'ou' has the sound like "house". One concept in my "master plan", next to unmarked long vowels before silent e, is to have a [short] list of 'irregular' words, like 'the', 'a/an', 'I', and 'you'. Or not. What do you think, sirs?)
> From: Robert Hailman <robert@...> > Subject: Re: My first conlang (sketch) > > For me, if anything it comes out as [Tr\@i], or ocasionally [T@r\i]. > > However, since it wasn't my inention to make this difficult to > pronounce, this is one aspect I'll have to chance... how bout r, j, and > l only after alveolar and postalveolar consonants. I have no trouble > saying /Sr/ or /Zj/.. do any of you?
/Sr/ is very common, it shows up in words like "shrink" and "tree". I'm not familiar with /Zj/ (at least I'm not familiar with being familiar with it...) and I think I would have some trouble with it. *Muke! _____________________________________________ NetZero - Defenders of the Free World Click here for FREE Internet Access and Email