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Some findings on Tech...

From:Danny Wier <dawier@...>
Date:Saturday, September 2, 2000, 21:10
I had a theoretical Ethnologue entry, but I lost it, so I have to
rewrite it.

Some ideas I came up with for Tech:

First, the merger of, say nouns with certain limiters.  Quite possibly
I could have a phenomenon called a "circumfix".  In other words, the
noun is flanked on both sides by remnants of another word.

Since consonants are much more stable than vowels in Tech (I still
don't have the vowel phonology and the system of
palatization-labiovelarization worked out for the consonants), I'm
thinking consonants being merged with the word.

Example: dgihu "fish" + s-w "to be six" = zdgihuw "six fish"; dgihu +
s-b-3 "to be seven" = zdgihub3 "seven fish"; dgihu + ?-hl-r "to be ten"
= ?adgihuhlr "ten fish".

The data I gave is very dirty and reflects a first-stage experiment.
More reliable are ?ad-dgihu "the fish", dgihu-w "a fish; one fish",
dgihu-x "that fish; your fish"...

Now on to the system of consonantal phonology, which is pretty scary.

I have decided to classify the many consonants into main phonemes,
which are divided into subphonemes when fortis-lenis-spirant-nasal
mutations are worked in, then you add the secondary features

So for the main phoneme /t'/ (voiceless dental ejective), there are
these subphonemes:

fortis: t'
lenis: d' (voiced implosive)
spirant: T' (voiceless ejective interdental/"th" fricative)
nasal: nd' (prenasalized voiced implosive, also called an "implosive

These four then show up as:

neutral: t'
palatized "soft": t'j
labiovelarized "hard" : t'w
pharyngealized "emphatic": t'~

Or, you could call these consonants "neutral", "fronted", "rounded" and
"backed".  These phenomena are called "secondary features", so
consonants would be classified overall as:

phonemes > mutations > secondary features

Fortunately, vowels are a good bit less complex.  But you still have
long-short, nasal and aspirated vowels (compare marking of vowels in
Sanskrit with the anusvara for nasalized, and with visarga for


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