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 Post subject: Re: Vowel Systems
PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2015 7:13 pm 
Lebom
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Birdlang wrote:
My conlang Swampsparrownese has 15 vowels, and it is written in Cyrillic.it has /i e æ/ /u ɯ o ɤ ɑ ɒ/ /ɨ ʉ ɘ ɵ a ɶ/. Know any similar vowel sets?


Are your conlangs actually meant to be somehow spoken by birds, or are they in some way...bird-inspired? Just out of curiosity.


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 Post subject: Re: Vowel Systems
PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2015 4:46 pm 
Sumerul
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zompist wrote:
Porphyrogenitos wrote:
While this thread is active again - are there any languages with just a plain /a i u/ vowel system, but without any length contrast?


Sure— Quechua, Cree, Moroccan Arabic, Aleut...

Don't Cree and Aleut have length contrasts?

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 Post subject: Re: Vowel Systems
PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2015 5:01 pm 
Boardlord
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Nortaneous wrote:
zompist wrote:
Porphyrogenitos wrote:
While this thread is active again - are there any languages with just a plain /a i u/ vowel system, but without any length contrast?


Sure— Quechua, Cree, Moroccan Arabic, Aleut...

Don't Cree and Aleut have length contrasts?


You may be right. I took those from Lass's Phonology, and he contrasts length in other vowel system, so I assumed he was representing them correctly. But Wikipedia seems to disagree.


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 Post subject: Re: Vowel Systems
PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2015 7:21 pm 
Sumerul
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Moroccan Arabic might also have a length contrast. I'm not sure from Wikipedia if the reflexes of the short vowels are still phonemic, but it looks like short a/i and short u still contrast. MSA short and long vowels are both borrowed as "semi-long" vowels, though.

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 Post subject: Re: Vowel Systems
PostPosted: Wed Jan 14, 2015 9:41 pm 
Avisaru
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Claire Bowern reports 21 languages in Australia with a pure /a i u/ system with no length contrast. There does not seem to be an explicit list of them all (though I suppose one could go hunting for her comparative database, I think at least parts of it are online), but some examples are Garrwa, Karajarri and Nyangumarta.

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 Post subject: Re: Vowel Systems
PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2015 10:03 pm 
Sumerul
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Sure, there are some in Australia. But Australia is a very strange place, and of the languages outside Australia, how many of them have a pure /a i u/ system with no length contrast? I'd be surprised if there are more than twenty.

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 Post subject: Re: Vowel Systems
PostPosted: Sat Jan 17, 2015 10:44 am 
Sanci
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To give another non-Australian example, the Adzera language (Austronesian, Papua New Guinea) has /a i u/ without length contrast, tone or nasalization. It does have diphthongs /ai/ and /au/, though:
http://www-01.sil.org/pacific/png/pubs/ ... ra_opd.pdf

Also, maybe some Berber languages? There seem to be a lot of disagreement about how to analyse them but I think for example Tashlhiyt Berber has been analysed as having three phonemic vowels /a i u/ without length:
https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal ... 2/document
(I haven't read through the entire paper)


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 Post subject: Re: Vowel Systems
PostPosted: Mon Jan 19, 2015 10:19 am 
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vokzhen wrote:
Distinguishing /ɑ ɒ/ without length differences is pretty rare, and even rarer is a three-way contrast between /æ a ɑ/. I'm not sure a four-way between /æ a ɑ ɒ/ even exists, and if it did there'd almost certainly other things going on (e.g. /æ/ is really [ɛ] and /ɑ/ is [ɑ:]).

Earlier old West Norse had <ę æ a á ǫ ǫ́> which were /æ æ: a a: ɒ ɒ:/ but I don't think anybody's crazier. It was an unstable system, with /æ/ soon merging with /e/ and /ɒ:/ with /a:/ (hvęr > hver, spǫ́ > spá).

As for /ɶ/ Nina Grønnum argues that it exists in Danish, though IDK how much of that is just an oddball pissing contest

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 Post subject: Re: Vowel Systems
PostPosted: Thu Jan 22, 2015 11:05 pm 
Avisaru
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Herr Dunkel wrote:
vokzhen wrote:
Distinguishing /ɑ ɒ/ without length differences is pretty rare, and even rarer is a three-way contrast between /æ a ɑ/. I'm not sure a four-way between /æ a ɑ ɒ/ even exists, and if it did there'd almost certainly other things going on (e.g. /æ/ is really [ɛ] and /ɑ/ is [ɑ:]).

Earlier old West Norse had <ę æ a á ǫ ǫ́> which were /æ æ: a a: ɒ ɒ:/ but I don't think anybody's crazier. It was an unstable system, with /æ/ soon merging with /e/ and /ɒ:/ with /a:/ (hvęr > hver, spǫ́ > spá).


Lower Konda Mansi is claimed to have had /æ æː ɶ ɶː a aː ɒ/.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 07, 2016 10:11 pm 
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Radius Solis wrote:
clawgrip wrote:
Code:
i     u
e ø ə o
    a


Do you know of any natural languages with this system?

I don't, and it breaks a universal. Of course not all "universals" are truly universal, but as far as I can remember I've never heard of this one being broken in a natural language: that, disregarding schwa, no height row on the chart has a greater number of distinct vowels than the row above it. (Edit: except in Germanic. But there it's probably licensed by the large number of vowels - things get more free when that happens.)

Also /ø/ is virtually never found without /y/ - which follows from the universal, unless there's some other gap in its row. But that isn't the case here.

Still, it's not a fatal flaw or anything. I could certainly see a language arriving at that vowel set by perfectly normal sound changes. I just wouldn't be very confident that the /ø/ would stay stable for long.


Pardon for necroing, but Yapese does this, also: it has ejectives and it's spoken on an island.


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