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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 different speakers. 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 :) Ray. ========================================= A mind which thinks at its own expense will always interfere with language. [J.G. Hamann 1760] =========================================

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Henrik Theiling <theiling@...>