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Critique my phonology

Posted: Sun Jun 12, 2016 3:10 pm
by Škjakto
All letters are pronounced as they are in the IPA except for long vowels. Long vowels are just doubled short ones. Stress always falls on the first syllable.

C: m n ŋ v s h
V: á a à í i ì ú u ù áá aa àà íí ii ìì úú uu ùù
A: w l j
N: m n ŋ

Syllabic structure is (C)(A)V(N). Diphthongs are allowed, but not triphthongs.

In my conworld, this is the language of the Gods and is used to cast spells and for religious affairs. Obviously, it is a tonal language and is often sung. Tones are flexible and usually only matter relative to other tones. For example, in the word 'sjávùi', vowel tones could be 513, 523, 524, or something else. More specifically, high tone encompasses 5 and 4, neutral tone is 4, 3, and 2, and low tone is 2 and 1.

Re: Critique my phonology

Posted: Sun Jun 12, 2016 4:26 pm
by ----
Well, it's typologically unheard of, but you say it's only used ritualistically so who knows. But you seem to have the wrong impression about how tones work. '1'-'5' don't refer to specific pitches, nor is it a general standard that '5' is high and '1' is low, or vice versa. You say that "Tones are flexible and usually only matter relative to other tones" but this is true of every tonal language that has ever existed in real life as well.

Re: Critique my phonology

Posted: Sun Jun 12, 2016 5:12 pm
by mèþru
You posted this thread twice.

Re: Critique my phonology

Posted: Thu Jun 23, 2016 6:56 am
by Tropylium
Set in a natural environment, I'd expect that /v/ to turn into /b/ and from there into /p/ faster than you can say "presence of stop consonants is a linguistic universal" in Rotokas (possibly with ŋ > g > k hot on the heels).

Ritual languages aren't strictly speaking natural though, and surely they can do funny shit like this. But I'd ask — what is the non-ritual language of the community using this lang like? If we are going to suppose that the people have some taboo against using stop consonants when casting spells, what actually happens to words containing stop consonants? Are they going to be deleted or fricativized or nasalized? Or does the ritual language have its own lexicon entirely?

Alternately, if you mean that this is the language of the literal gods, that surely raises further questions about e.g. the speech physiology of your deities. E.g. do the gods have actual physical mouth cavities, or do they communicate using some other kind of noises that humans just map into the phonology presented here?