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Clusters (was: conlang survey ( Géarthnuns ))

From:Douglas Koller, Latin & French <latinfrench@...>
Date:Monday, October 28, 2002, 21:00
Andreas wrote:

>Kou wrote on Gearthnuns: >>Those faint >>of heart at initial consonant clusters need not apply :) > >How faint of heart is faint of heart? My personal pain threshhold goes >somewhere around five; Tairezazh _kstrol_ "son" is OK, but beyond that it >hurts. I don't know any Tairezazh word with more than four yet, but there's >no particular reason you couldn't have more. A word like *_zgzdvarks_ >wouldn't violate any particular rules, and it could rise from something like >*_sag-zdavárksa_. Indeed, I perhaps should invent a root _zdavárk_ "layer" - >_zgzdvarks_ would then mean "four-layered" ...
Egads, then I'm the one faint of heart! With Géarthnuns, it's not the length of initial consonant clusters. A totally maxed out syllable would be: (C)(C)(S)V(C)(C)(C) [where "S" is a semivowel /j/ or /w/] (three final consonants is extremely rare to my knowledge, and would have to be a noun stem). (C)(C)V(C) is quite common. I would probably say, more specifically, that these clusters occur word-initially, or at least stem-initially, rather than just the overly broad syllable-initially. Rather, as Jan correctly pointed out recently, it's the sheer number of possible biconsonantal initial combinations. (I don't have the exact count here in front of me, but there are lots) (however, [lr] is not one of them). So, with regards to what your talking about, Géarthnuns pales in comparison to Georgian or Tairezazh. "Zdavarks" would make an absolutely delightful Géarthnuns word, but "kstrol" or "zgzdvarks" (eep!), er, not so much. I can cope with "chük zdvarksüp" (the whatever-these-might-be's), but chük zgzdvarksüp? Good night nurse! Kou