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Re: Bantoid conlang - phonology

From:Herman Miller <hmiller@...>
Date:Tuesday, February 24, 2004, 1:55
Adam Walker wrote:

> Sf is a sound which occurs in Shona. It is a sort of > simutaneous articulation of /f/ and a post-alveolar > sibilant articulated about halfway between my /s/ and > my /S/. > > |tf| is a sort of affricate with the stop portion > being a lamino-labial stop and the fricative protion > being /T/. > > The other two are the voiced counterparts of said. > > Ideas on how to represent these sounds in IPA and > X-Sampa or whatever we're using now?
The "lamino-labial" stop might be what's called "linguolabial". The mark for this is [_N] in X-SAMPA, and a character called "subscript seagull" in IPA (because it must have reminded whoever gave it that name of a stylized drawing of seagull wings). Strangely, "subscript seagull" is used with the letters for _alveolar_ sounds (not bilabial as you might expect). The example word in the IPA handbook is Tangoa [t_Net_Ne] "butterfly". I've never heard any recordings of Tangoa, so I don't know exactly what that sounds like. So then your "tf" would be written /t_NT/ in X-SAMPA. If your email software can handle Unicode, the IPA version is /t̼θ/, which looks much nicer. But since not everyone has Unicode-friendly email software yet, we're stuck with the ugly X-SAMPA or non-standard alternatives. In APA (, which is what I use to type IPA symbols on the keyboard, it would be /t_mT/. At least the /_m/ looks more like the IPA symbol. In the Kolagian Phonetic Alphabet, or KPA (, it's also represented as /t_mT/. As far as "sf", there isn't a symbol for something between /s/ and /S/; you'll either have to pick one or the other, or use the "advanced" or "retracted" diacritics. Since /s/ with the "retracted" diacritic usually just means "alveolar /s/", using /S/ with the "advanced" diacritic (a small plus sign under the letter) would be better. But because the /S/ goes below the line, the descender runs into the plus sign. The X-SAMPA for the "advanced" diacritic is /_+/, which is unexpectedly logical. This is also the symbol I use in APA and KPA. Then you'd use the tie bar /_/ to join the /f/ and the /S_+/ to end up with something like /f_S_+/ or /S_+_f/. I use /^^/ for the tie bar in APA, and KPA uses the curly braces { } around the two letters that are joined.


Adam Walker <carrajena@...>