Hiatus in Artlangs
|Date:||Friday, November 10, 2000, 19:42|
The issue of how sequences of vowels are
pronounced in Conlangs has been IMO little
addressed. Many artlang feature quite a few
such sequences. Some do not specify how
they are to be pronounced.
One exception to the lack of a debate was the
Eo-Ido squabble that centered on E-o correlatives.
Esperanto pronounced all vowels in succession in
the correlativetables (and elsewhere) as separate
syllables with "hiatus" between them. Ido seemed
to feel a need to change the rule -- when and if the
first element was an I or U. But did this reform
help or hurt pronunciability? More significantly,
perhaps, did it in fact actually change the
pronunciations for many?
Let's look at this from an artlang point of view.
Would you have the following pronounced as
one or two syllable words in your languages?
(As "Imaginary words," they are marked by *;
please don't worry if some are actual words
in some natlang.)
If we opt for two syllables, we get such initial
combos as the following:
Initial [dj] in: *dieto, *dieno, *dialo etc.
Initial [sj] in: *siesto, *sievo, *siamo etc.
Initial [kj] in: *kiano, *kiepto, *kielo etc.
Initial [vj] in: *viato, *vieno, *violo etc.
Initial [gj] in: *giapo, *gieno, *giosto etc.
Initial [bj] in: *bialo, *biento, *biesto etc.
Initial [mj] in: *mielo, *miano, *mioso etc.
Initial [fw] in: *fuoco, *fuano, *fuero etc.
Initial [lw] in: *luano, *luego, *luiso etc.
Initial [pw] in: *pueblo, *puepo, *puoso etc.
Initial [gw] in: *guano, *guero, *guido etc.
Initial [kw] in: *kualo, *kueno, *kuoto etc.
Initial [dw] in: *dualo, *dueno, *duito etc.
Initial [rw] in: *ruano, *ruino, *rueso etc.
Would these be safer to define as three syllables?
What differing effects would the results have in
an artlang? Would it be easier to sing in one
form or another? Would poetry be easier in
one form or another?
Combinations of -oa- -eo- etc. face the danger
that English speakers insert a semivowel, making
such things as -owa- and -eyo-. This is, to a
degree, another issue.
As I undersand it, Klingon has no sequences
of vowel, so that solves that in the Klingon
arena. But many artlangs have, especially the
kinder and gentler ones.
Best regards, LEO
Leo J. Moser