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Re: backwards conlanging

From:BP Jonsson <bpj@...>
Date:Friday, December 1, 2000, 12:36
> >I have a stupid boring /i/ /e/ /a/ /o/ /u/ vowel system, with two >diphthongs. I guess I'll have to figure out something more complicated >that could've simplified down to the 5-vowel system.
Well, simple 5 systems can arise from more complex systems: front rounded vowels can lose their roundness, /ø/ merging with /e/ and /y/ with /i/, as happened in the history of English, or a system like i u e o E O a might change in several ways, e.g.: --/e/ merging with /i/ and /o/ with /u/ before a high vowel (/i u/) in the following syllable. --/E/ and /O/ merging with /a/ before an /a/ in the following syllable. or /O/ merging with /a/ but /E/ with /e/, or /e/ with /i/. Is some vowel very frequent or very rare in your lang? This may make it a candidate for an erlier merger or split. Might consonant clusters or final consonants in your lang indicate loss of earlier vowels, as actually happened in the history of many languages? Are there differences between dialect of your language that may point to a different state of affairs -- merger or split most likely -- in the common ancestor? You may also pick your present lang to **be** the ancestor, deriving daughters from it. I did this: decided that my lang Phurkuarian wasn't too different from proto-Wanic after all! This **will** make it necessary to derive Late Phurkuarian from Ancient Phurkuarian, but I have a feeling that may be fun... / B.Philip Jonsson B^)> -- (delete .nospam) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ "If a language is a dialect with an army and a navy, of what language, pray, is Basque a dialect?" (R.A.B.)