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Re: Consonant harmony (and intro)

From:Benct Philip Jonsson <bpj@...>
Date:Thursday, July 21, 2005, 13:54
Kate Sherwood skrev:
> Hello, list! > > I've been lurking for a while, but I haven't had a reason to post yet. > I'm an undergrad who hopes to go into linguistics, but I haven't had > much of an opportunity to study the subject formally yet. I'll > probably only pop up now and then to ask questions, since I don't > really know enough yet to *answer* many. > > My primary interest is in artlangs and fictlangs. Mostly fictlangs, I > suppose. I like for my langs to have a people to speak them, but am > not really all that interested in fiddling around with history. I've > created a few, and I'll probably post them eventually for suggestions > & criticism. > > Now that the intro's over with, my question: > > I'm creating a language for a friend's fantasy novel and she really > likes the idea of consonant harmony. The problem is that I don't > really know how it's likely to work given the phonemes I've already > chosen (which she also really likes). > > I have some limited info on consonant harmony in Barbareño Chumash and > Tahltan from Mithun's _Languages of Native North America_, but I'm > looking for other sources of inspiration. What other natural languages > use consonant harmony? >
AFAIK it is most commonly some secondary feature like palatalization, glottalization, pharyngealization or even voicing that spreads throughout the word, or is prevented from doing so. One cool possible Consonant Harmony that I haven't heard of would be nasalization harmony so that a word has either only [b d g] etc. or only [m n N] etc., and then maybe [p_n t_n k_n] etc. instead of [p t k] in "nasal" words. I got the idea from a note I read on Scottish Gaelic where all *vowels* of a word are either nasalized or oral. After all voiced nasals can be seen as nasalized voiced stops! -- /BP 8^) -- / B.Philip Jonsson (delete X!) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ "If a language is a dialect with an army and a navy, of what language, pray, is Basque a dialect?" (R.A.B.)