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Re: Thagojian sample text

From:Isidora Zamora <isidora@...>
Date:Thursday, October 9, 2003, 19:06
>Would it be too much of a stretch to go in the direction of using >{k'}, {t'} and {p'} instead of {ky}, {ty} and {py}?
It depends on how much you dislike apostrophes and how much you like Slavicisms. There is plenty of precedent for using an apostrophe to indicate a palatalized consonant. If you feel that you really need to free up the <y> character for other uses, the apostrophe might be a good idea. The other argument in favor of the apostrophe over Cy sequence, is that C + apostrophe, unlike Cy, cannot be confused with a C + [y] sequence (as opposed to a true palatalized consonant.) C' generally indicates either an ejective consonant or a palatalized one.
>Also, it strikes me that a disproportionately large fraction of the >lexicon that I've been deriving has used "front" harmony (vowels {i e >é ï ë a}), as opposed to "back" harmony (vowels {u o ó ï ë a}). I was >hoping to make it about a 50-50 split, but it's turning out more like >70-30 or even 80-20. I'm dissatisfied with that.
The only advice I can give is that you'll have to work harder when you create vocabulary. I have a language that has been through an historical, but no longer truly productive, vowel harmonization process where *i and *e harmonized with each other as did *u and *o. The process left the language with a lot of words with identical vowel pairs (or trios) in them. But you will notice that *a wasn't involved in the harmonization rule. Therefore, as I create vocabulary, I need to keep down the proportion of words with /a/'s in adjacent syllables because, unlike with the other four vowels, no additional words of this form were created by phonological processes; all the /a/ pairs had to come from the protolanguage. (Of course, if I derive from the proto-language, I will have much less chance of getting a disproportionate number of paired /a/'s.) The other thing that I noticed just the other day is that I have had a tendency towards prefering /e/ pairs over other vowels. I am just going to have to watch myself very carefully and balance out the harmonized vowel sets in the right proportions. I think that it is just a matter of thinking very carefully as you create vocab. But if they do end up disproportionate, that's probably ok, too, because some natural languages have a tendedcy to prefer certain sounds over certain other sounds. Isidora