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Re: easy sounds

From:Andreas Johansson <andjo@...>
Date:Friday, January 7, 2005, 13:32
Quoting Gary Shannon <fiziwig@...>:

> --- Tristan McLeay <conlang@...> > wrote: > > > On 6 Jan 2005, at 1.24 pm, Elliott Lash wrote: > > > > > --- Muke Tever <hotblack@...> wrote: > > > > > >> # 1 <salut_vous_autre@...> wrote: > > <big snip> > > As for creating a language everyone can say--- > > <snip> > > It seems to me the way to build a conlang that > everyone can speak easily is to NOT specify exactly > how each letter is to sound and let each speaker find > their own comfortable way to pronounce it. That way > the conlang would have as many dialects and accents as > any widespread natlang, and yet they would all be > mutually intelligible.
I'm not in the habit of agreeing with Gary on matters of phonology, but he's right here; an "easy for everyone" language should allow substantial variation of exact realizations. As a corollary, it should have a smallish phonemic inventory.
> If one person reads "Di kopu ele ablo dua trecho im di > dentu, eh?" with an australian accent and another says > it with an Italian accent, and another with a German > accent, it doesn't matter. They will all understand > each other, and they will all find it easy to > pronounce.
Not necessarily. It's amazing what an out-of-whack intonation can make to render a statement incomprehensible even if the segmental sounds are right.
> (The example is from my language Mutande > Palu which, when I speak it, sounds a bit like > Swedish.)
I find that hard to imagine. The word-forms trike me as more Romance than Swedish, and, IIRC, you're a native speaker of English, which means it's highly unlikely you'll naturally read it with the tell-tale Swedish intonation.
> (This might be more an auxlang issue, but if a conlang > has NO native speakers then the pronunciation should > not be too closely specified anyway because people > will pronounce it their own way depending on their own > background anyway.)
I'd go as far as to say it's strictly an auxlang issue. Whether you can pronounce my artlang correctly means a great deal less to me than whether I like the exact sound I've given it. I'm sure I'm not alone in this attitude. Andreas