Clicks in a conIAL?
|From:||Raymond Brown <ray.brown@...>|
|Date:||Monday, April 23, 2001, 17:59|
A week or so back Oskar Gudlaugsson wrote:
>Right, so now I get to the business of my own idea of a phonological scheme
>for the theoretical unilang...
>Vowels: /a e i o u/
>Semi-vowels: /w j/
>Stops: /p t k b d g/
>Frics: /f s h/
>Nasals: /m n/
>Liquids: /l r/
>If I know you CONLANG-bunch right, :) :), that's rather "boring".
I remember when I was discussing 'briefscript' phonology on another list,
And reminded me that someone (I'm sorry, I forget the name) held that a
good IAL would have a click or two among its consonants. The click sounds,
if you're not familiar with them, are produced by using the velaric
airstream and not the pulmonic airstream of the consonants above; they are
common enough in the Khoisan languages and the Nguni branch of Bantu in
southern Africa. I think the argument is that they are fairly easy to make
and are very distinctive sounds which will be readily perceived by
Tho not a normal part of the phonemic inventory of most languages, they
occur quite commonly in interjections, e.g. the lateral click is often made
by people urging on a horse; the dental click is often made when showing
annoyance or disapproval and written _tut-tut_ or such like.
I quite like the sounds and was tempted to include one or two, but after
debate I decided against it.
I wonder if Oskar has considered them for Unilang.
When I wrote: "The idea of a basic a_priori vocab, with a_posteriori
borrowing for more specific and for local/cultural specific items is
certainly an interesting idea; it looks like a neat balance between the
universal neutrality a a_prioriism and a_posteriori familiarity of more
specific concepts. Go for it!"
Oskar replied: "Thanks! :) The borrowing part is essentially why I've made
room for "renderability" in the phonological design."
If any local/cultural specific words are borrowed from southern Africa, one
may have to consider clicks. Certainly, they're inclusion would give the
language a distinctive flavor :)
I wonder what other conlangers think of the aptness or otherwise of clicks
for Unilang or, indeed, any other conIAL? (They would, unquestionably, be
great in an artlang :)
A mind which thinks at its own expense
will always interfere with language.
[J.G. Hamann 1760]