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Phonotactics of Velian I, or: Phonology of Velian II: The Wrath of John Vertical ;-)

From:Jeff Rollin <jeff.rollin@...>
Date:Wednesday, July 4, 2007, 12:50
Hi all

The phonology of Velian may turn out to be the nightmare of a blind, deaf,
mute linguist, but I've decided to modify my analysis again. In what follows
I've taken suggestions from John Vertical and a conlang lurker who will
remain anonymous (unless and until they choose not to) because they responded

I've decided to drop prenasalised consonants, replacing them with clusters
instead. This makes it much easier to deal with consonant gradation, because
whereas before a change nt/nd > nn would have entailed fortition (gemination
of /n/) in a place that required lenition, now a change from nt (> nd) > nn
and back is all straightforward. (I haven't yet decided whether to have /mb
nd/ &c as well as /mp nt/ &c, but without /b d/; Quenya allows it, but it
seems strange.)

I considered analysing aspirates, palatals and labials as separate phonemes,
but that makes the phonotactics much harder to work out.

So now the phonotactics of  Velian allow: single consonants (NB: including
digraphs for aspirated, palatalised and labialised consonants) /passim/,
consonant clusters consisting of nasal, /r/ or /s/ + plosive in final
position, nasal + plosive in initial position, and (upto) three consonants

I haven't yet worked out what happens with palatalised and labialised
consonants, but I suspect that palatalised consonants are default before
front, unrounded vowels, that labialised consonants are default before back
unrounded vowels, and that both contrast with plain consonants before front
rounded vowels. Or I could "go the Hungarian route" and have plain,
palatalised, and labialised consonants regardless of position before vowels.

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