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zompist bboard • View topic - Phonology

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 Post subject: Phonology
PostPosted: Wed Aug 26, 2015 9:40 pm 
Sanci
Sanci
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Posts: 36
OK, I'm trying to get my phonology to a place that I like that's also plausible and that I can reconstruct my language a long way back diachronically because I'm into that stuff and read diachronic things about natlangs all the time. It's going to be very weird, however, and I don't want it normal, I just want it to look like a weird natlang, and not because I'm trying to be weird, but because I just like things that happen to be weird and I want to make a language that I like. If I were really trying to be weird as possible, I wouldn't make the base word order SOV (although that's not phonology).

This is the current CWS page: http://conworkshop.info/view_language.php?l=XOS

As you can tell if you've looked at the page, I like vowels and affricates a lot as well as fricatives, and I have a weird aversion to the sounds /w/ and /ʒ/. I also recently got a thing for word-final glottal stops, although I don't really like any available glottal stop graphemes. There are also pharyngealized vowels in the vowel inventory, deriving from historical coda /ʀ/ which was later re-introduced after syncope and apocope, but I just added a null sound and made it pharyngealized so I wouldn't have to add all my vowels twice.

Sound processes that have definitely happened, in the current version of the language (in no particular order):

-i-umlaut
-u-umlaut
-a-umlaut (this one is tricky since I'm not always sure what it would do and thus am not finished with the vowel inventory)
-apocope of many final unstressed vowels, resulting in many coda clusters and regular umlaut morphological alternations
-syncope of many other unstressed vowels, resulting in odd initial clusters and shorter words
-leniting many stops to fricatives and affricates
-palatalizing some /k g x/ to /t͡ʃ d͡ʒ ʃ/ (this is before /g/ unconditionally shifted to /ɣ/, so there is no /ʒ/)
-unconditional shifts of /g kʰ w/ to /ɣ k͡x v/ (not necessarily all at the same stage) following other stuff that happens
-unconditional shift of all "guttural" stops to affricates (prior to development of contrastive aspiration, hence q͡χʰ)
-change of the first historical /x/ to /h/, resulting in voiceless resonants /l̥ j̥ ʀ̥ ʍ/, which then become voiceless fricatives /ɬ ç χ f/ (not sure about the last of the set, but it probably happened along with /w/ -> /v/ at the same time since it's similar), and probably voiceless nasals, which have to get lost somehow
-gaining vowel reduction in unstressed syllables
-gaining syllabic consonants in unstressed syllables
-changing from an irregular stress pattern to regular, first-syllable trochaic stress
-shifting coda /ʀ/ to contrastive pharyngealized vowels
-gaining new instances of coda /ʀ/ from elision
-breaking of all long lax vowels
-gaining of final obstruent devoicing (this might have been around forever. I just really don't like voiced obstruents on the ends of words, like how I don't like /w/ and /ʒ/ or vowel hiatuses.)

Things that might have happened:

-voiceless nasals become voiced (only if there were voiceless nasals)
-geminate stops and affricates become aspirated (there must be aspirates somehow, as I like them better than voicing and would rather only have aspiration than only have voicing, but not sure they come into being this way)
-somehow geminate /l/ or something apparently turns into /t͡ɬ/
-geminate everything else disappears, leaving independently contrastive length and tenseness in vowels instead of the former combined length-tenseness contrast
-clusters with /h/ become aspirated (but I'm not sure this would work at all, since it might just lead to breathy voiced consonants because clusters don't assimilate voicing and I really don't want a 4-way contrast with breathy voiced consonants)

So as you can see, the language probably went from being one kind of completely weird language to being another kind of completely weird language.

I'm also not really sure what I'm doing with the syllable structure, as I'm fine with having random unstressed syllabic nasals or schwas on the ends of words hanging out on their own, but I don't want words running together or any vowels in hiatus so I'm requiring a consonantal onset for now, even if it's often just a glottal stop. I just know I like complex syllables with lots of coda clusters, so I'm not going to be switching to (C)V anytime soon.

I'm also not completely sure how various uvular sounds are supposed to affect vowels. I mean, I know most of the time they make vowels turn into more lax or more back vowels, but how often exactly? What I definitely need is more vowels to add to my 14-vowel inventory...


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