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Conlang for giant caterpillars

From:FFlores <fflores@...>
Date:Saturday, May 29, 1999, 18:06
Yes, the subject is right. I'm developing a conlang
for an alien sentient species that are temporarily
called "the Caterpillars" for obvious reasons. I'm
going to include them in my conworld, in the near
future of the Dr=E1selhadh, I think. (I'll post more
details to Conculture).

The phonology so far is as follows:


        InterDnt Dnt Alv  Pal Vel

Stop           t        c   k
Fric    |h       th   s   ch  kh
Lat   |l       tl   sl  cl
Click          t!   s!  c!

Vowels: i a u (unrounded, and all of them unvoiced!)

These Caterpillars talk in whispers... there's a
small amount of voice in the vowels sometimes, due
to vibration of soft tissues in the throat, but no
more. This is usually enough; they don't scream and
they have a very sensitive hearing.

The consonants are a bit strange. They have no lips
and no nose -- they have respiratory holes but they
aren't directly connected to the mouth, so there are
no nasals or labials.
The interdental fricative <|h> is produced by "showing
the teeth" and letting some air pass between them. The
lateral <|l> is similar, but the tongue is pressed
against the lower teeth and raised in its middle part.

The dentals are what you expect them to be, except that
<th> is not exactly /T/ (the tongue doesn't stick out).
The palatals are almost retroflex.

I plan to have a loose syllable structure, permitting
geminates and some consonant clusters, and one syllable
per vowel (no semivowels).

So, what do yon think? Remember it's not a human language!

--Pablo Flores

PS when I say "tongue", it's more "tongues" -- they have
three, though they usually go together. And they have a
very free movement, like an octopus tentacle.=20