zompist bboard

WE ARE MOVING - see Ephemera
It is currently Wed Dec 12, 2018 8:39 pm

All times are UTC - 6 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 7 posts ] 
Author Message
PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2018 5:18 pm 
Lebom
Lebom

Joined: Thu Oct 13, 2016 2:43 am
Posts: 102
Location: Russia, Saint-Petersburg
Hello, ladies and gentlemen!

This topic will be a scratchpad for me to organise and record my thoughts on my as-of-now current conlang, Suraic. It is spoken in a hard sci-fi setting by descendants of Americans and various peoples of the Middle East on a particularly inhospitable desert planet that might as well be Dune if not for the lack of giant sandworms or plot device natural resources.

Please feel free to comment and criticise - I am rather new to this whole conlanging business, so any advice from the veterans will be greatly appreciated.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2018 4:59 pm 
Lebom
Lebom

Joined: Thu Oct 13, 2016 2:43 am
Posts: 102
Location: Russia, Saint-Petersburg
General information

Surai, officially Ilosean Surai, more officially Southern Ilosean Surai, endonym Suraayee /s̪ʊˈɾɑːjɛː/, spoken on the provisionally-named desert planet of Ilos by as-of-yet undetermined number of speakers of American and Middle Eastern descent a thousand or so years into the future, is a descendant of American English and the most famous and widely-spoken member of the Suraic family. I am yet to figure out the political and sociolinguistic landscape (spacescape?) of the general area, but so far the Suraic family includes quite a number of other languages, most of which are either minority languages on Ilos and the surrounding planet with a few hundred thousand to a few million mostly-bilingual speakers or unofficial or semi-official languages in other parts of the inhabited space, spoken by descendants of Western New Californian migrants, though the latter have diverged so long ago and are by now so grammatically and lexically different that it might be better to group them into a separate subfamily.

Anyway, to get back to the Surai language in particular, its proper phylo-linguistic tree branch would be:
Indo-European → Germanic → Anglo-Frisian → Anglic → English → American English → Philadelphia English → Central Atlantic Coast City English → New Californian Mountain English → First Wave Suraic → Ilosean Suraic → Southern Ilosean Surai
And if you're wondering what anything after Atlantic Coast City English means, New California is a space colony, first wave refers to the waves of forced displacement of by-then Suraic people and Ilos is the hellhole sandbox that some of them ended up in. Beyond that, I'm afraid I don't have much backstory, but hopefully creating this conlang and its relatives will actually help me with worldbuilding, a la Tolkien.

Notable phonological in-universe features of Surai include heavy lexical and grammatical influence by Modern Standard Arabic, the lingua franca of Western New California, a relative lack of influence from modern GA English, which became an international (interstellar?) prestige language known as Classical English in space, a radically simplified vowel system even by the standards of the mostly /i e ɛ a ɔ o u/ New Californian languages, complete loss of the pharyngealised "emphatic" consonant series of the proto-Suraic without a corresponding increase in the number of vowel phonemes, an abundance of pharyngeal consonants, CV(C)(C) syllable structure with obligatory onsets, mobile weight-sensitive stress and, for something truly unusual, a perception by native speakers of /ʃ/ as being less marked a sibilant than /s/, which is hopefully justified by the diachronica.

Out-of-universe, I deliberately intend Surai to be a subversion of the usual novice conlang fare, that is, it is rather boring phonologically, with no glottalic consonants, no clicks, no ridiculously complex secondary articulation systems a la Northeast Caucasian, no voiceless sonorants, no multiple contrasting plosive series, no vertical or Germanically-overstuffed vowel systems, no interdental sibilants - I don't know if those really are as overused in conlangs as the rumour goes, but I still think I'd rather not include them, if only to stick it to all those Tolkien imitators who want to end every woth with a <th> - and so on and so forth. Surai does have uvulars, /q χ ʁ/, and pharyngeals, /ħ ʕ/, but those, I feel, are justified by heavy historical MSA influence and the in-universe current-day preference of Surai speakers to use Classical Arabic instread of Classical English when they want to sound fancy and educated. Aside from Arabic, Surai phonology has also been inspired by Polish, in terms of how it took a secondary articulation-heavy consonant system and eliminated the entire SA series through diachronic change and also in terms of how most coronals are strongly dental and how postalveolar sibilants are near omnipresent, but I think that this isn't enough of an influence to say that there's any noticeable Slavic-ness in my conlang. If anything, I feel like I have created something unique enough to believably pass for a language that can realsitically arise from the evolution of modern GA English in an environment where its speakers are forced to live side-by-side with Arabs, Kurds, Syrians and the like, though, of course, you're welcome to correct me if I'm wrong.

Phonology
As mentioned, Surai has a rather ordinary, for a Semitic-ish language, phonemic inventory of 27 consonants and 5 vowels.

/m n ŋ/
/p b t̪ t̪s̪ d̪ d̪z̪ k q (ʔ)/
/f v ʋ ʃ s̪ ʒ z̪ χ ʁ h ħ ʕ/
/l ɾ/
/w j/
/i ɛ u ɑ /

/χ ʁ/ tend to be uvular before back vowels and velar before front vowels. Alveolar sibilants are strongly laminal denti-alveolar, while /ʃ ʒ/ are apical postalveolar, although other articulations are attested. /ħ ʕ/ have a variety of different articulations in free variations, most notably /ʡʢ/ for the latter. Glottal stop is analysed at the allophone of null onset. Syllable structure is CV(C)(C), mimicking that of MSA.


Diachronica

As there's no functional timescale yet for my setting, I have decided to separate the process of evolution from modern Philly English into my conlang into a number of indeterminate "steps." The steps are extremely provisional at this point and any advice from people who know more about language evolution than I do is extremely welcome.

Step 1: Philly English to Central Atlantic Coast City English
The beginning point here, I believe, requires no explanation. Modern-day Philadelphia English, with its famous split /æ/-raising system, strong /u/ fronting and rhoticity and a lack of cot-caught merger.

Initial phonology:
/m n ŋ/
/p b t d t͡ʃ d͡ʒ k g/
/f v θ ð s z ʃ ʒ h/
/w ɫ ɻ j/
/ɪ ɛ æ ə ʌ ɜ ɑ ɔ ʊ/
/iɪ ɛɪ eə aɪ ɔɪ aʊ oʊ ʉʊ/

Sound changes:
θ ð → t d
t d → ɾ / intervocalically after stressed vowel
nd ld → n l
ə → ∅
m n ɻ ɫ → m̩ n̩ ɻ̩ ɫ̩ / C_(C#)
ɪ ʊ → ∅/ in the VC_CV or #C_CV position
ɪ → iɪ
ʊ → ʉʊ
aʊ → ɛɔ
oʊ → ɜʊ
ɔ → oə
ɛɪ → eɪ
ɔɪ → oɪ
aɪ → ʌɪ
ɫ → ∅ / (ɜʊ;ɛɔ;ʉʊ)_
(ɔ;ʊ;oə)ɫ → ʉʊ
ɛɫ → ɛɔ
ɫ → w / _C, unless syllabic

Final phonology:
/m m̩ n n̩ ŋ/
/p b t d t͡ʃ d͡ʒ k g/
/f v s z ʃ ʒ h/
/w ɫ ɫ̩ ɻ ɻ̩ ɾ j/
/ɛ æ ʌ ɜ ɑ/
/iɪ eɪ eə ʌɪ oɪ oə ɛɔ ɜʊ ʉʊ/

The end result of this is still more or less Philadelphia English, but without dental fricatives, with a phonemic tapped rhotic that now contrasts with /t d/ where said dental fricatives used to be and a slightly different vowel system. In addition to the ongoing vowel shifts of the modern Philly English, lax high vowels are lost in the VC_CV and #C_CV environment, schwas are persistently lost everywhere, which results in proliferation of syllabic sonorants, not that it’s impossible to already analyse GA English as full of them, and the surviving /ɪ ʊ/ diphthongise to produce what GA considers to be tense high vowels. In terms of consonants, /ld/ and /nd/ simplify to /l/ and /n/, respectively, and /l/ in coda gets either absorbed into the previous vowel if the vowel is back or has a back component or simply vocalises to /w/.

Step 2: CACC English to New Californian English

Initial phonology:
/m m̩ n n̩ ŋ/
/p b t d t͡ʃ d͡ʒ k g/
/f v s z ʃ ʒ h/
/w ɫ ɻ ɻ̩ ɾ j/
/ɛ æ ʌ ɜ ɑ/
/iɪ eɪ eə ʌɪ oɪ ɔə ɛɔ ɜʊ ʉʊ/

Sound changes:
Vɪ̯w → Vjʉ
ɔə → o
ɛ → e
æ eə → ɛ
ɑ → ɔ
ʌ → a
ɜ → ɛ
iɪ → i
ʉʊ → ʉ
ɜʊ → ɛʊ
mp nt ntʃ ŋk → mb nd ndʒ ŋg → b d dʒ g→ p t tʃ k → f s ʃ x / in onset
b d dʒ g → p t tʃ k / in coda
t → ∅ / _n̩
Vɻ → ɻV / word-finally

Final phonology:
/m m̩ n n̩ ŋ/
/p b t d t͡ʃ d͡ʒ k g/
/f v s z ʃ ʒ h/
/w ɫ ɻ ɻ̩ ɾ j/
/i e ɛ a ɔ o ʉ/
/eɪ ʌɪ oɪ ɛɔ ɛʊ/

The transition from CACC English to New Californian Mountain English is notorious for the so-called “New Californian chain shift,” where fortis plosives in onset spirantised and the resulting gap “dragged” lenis plosives into becoming voiceless, nasal+lenis plosive clusters into simplifying into voiced plosives and fortis consonants after nasals into voicing. This also completely dismantled the complicated fortis-lenis distinction found in modern GA English plosives and replaced it with a relatively straightforward voiced-voiceless distinction. In codas, the changes have been much less drastic, with the fortis-lenis distinction simply being abandoned and the two plosive series merging into simple voiceless stops with no glottal stop shenanigans, the length of the preceding vowels was likewise quickly homogenised and failed to become phonemic, which resulted in the complete merger of minimal pairs such as pig and pick. These two sound changes were more or less the reason why New Californian was considered a separate language even while it was mutually intelligible with its contemporary sister English descendants, as it was very noticeably different from the general norm of the surrounding linguistic area (of space?) - to either debuccalise the fortis plosives in coda to glottal stops or merge them with the lenis ones but preserve the extra vowel length before the former lenis series. The vowel system’s evolution was characterised by the smoothing over of diphthongs to create a triangular seven-vowel monophthong system, something very prevalent in the New Californian sprachbund.

I’ll stop today’s post here to ask for advice - as you can see, the main problem of my diachronica so far is the relative lack of conditional sound changes, and I would like somebody to throw me a bone here and just point me in the general direction of what conditional sound changes can I go for here.


Last edited by Knit Tie on Mon Mar 26, 2018 6:34 am, edited 5 times in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2018 8:45 pm 
Sumerul
Sumerul

Joined: Mon Jun 20, 2005 12:47 pm
Posts: 3581
Location: Milwaukee, US
The big problem I have is this - why would Philadelphia English or some East Coast variety descended from it (mind you that many real-world East Coast varieties are amongst the more marginal of NAE varieties) be the basis for a lingua franca spoken amongst all the colonists on a space colony, who are probably from all over the world and came to the space colony speaking a wide variety of English varieties, both native and non-native? Would it not make more sense for the basis for a lingua franca spoken on a space colony be General American, with potentially some influence from more widely spoken dialect groups on Earth such as the NCVS dialects or California English, unless there were widespread dialect replacement of GA-allied dialects and NCVS dialects on Earth with the descendents of Philadelphia English (something that would require some in-world explanation)?

_________________
Dibotahamdn duthma jallni agaynni ra hgitn lakrhmi.
Amuhawr jalla vowa vta hlakrhi hdm duthmi xaja.
Irdro. Irdro. Irdro. Irdro. Irdro. Irdro. Irdro.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2018 2:38 am 
Lebom
Lebom

Joined: Thu Oct 13, 2016 2:43 am
Posts: 102
Location: Russia, Saint-Petersburg
New Californian English isn't actually supposed to be a lingua franca anywhere at this point - it's merely a dialect/descendant of English spoken by Atlantic Coast Americans on that particular space colony at home, which I think would make for a more interesting protolanguage than a GA lingua franca. Granted, Pilly English did become more popular in that particular region, but that was mostly because the USA in my setting fractured into multiple different states who all hate each other's guts.

I suppose I should give NC English a better name, now that you've mentioned it, to indicate that it is one of the English varieties spoken on New California and not the main or the most widespread one. New Californian Mountain English, perhaps?


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2018 8:33 pm 
Lebom
Lebom

Joined: Thu Oct 13, 2016 2:43 am
Posts: 102
Location: Russia, Saint-Petersburg
Step 3: New Californian Mountain English to Proto-Suraic

After intermingling and interbreeding with their Middle Eastern neighbours, the speakers of NCME start to feel the influence of their lingua franca - the prestigious, artificially preserved Modern Standard Arabic - on their own language. The resulting sound changes, coupled with the increased sociopolitical isolation, launch a diachronic cascade that sees NCME quickly transition into something entirely different to a mere English dialect.

Initial phonology:
/m m̩ n n̩ ŋ/
/p b t d t͡ʃ d͡ʒ k g/
/f v s z ʃ ʒ h/
/w ɫ ɻ ɻ̩ ɾ j/
/i e ɛ a ɔ o ʉ/
/eɪ ʌɪ oɪ ɛɔ ɛʊ/

Sound changes:
∅ → a / #_[szʃʒ]C
C → ∅ / in cluster with /s/ or /z/ in coda
C → ∅ / between a sonorant and another C
mb nd nd͡ʒ ŋg → m n n ŋ / except intervocalically
ɻ ɻ̩→ ʕ
eɪ ɛʊ → iː uː/ except word-finally or after a sonorant
(ʌɪ eɪ) ɛʊ → aɪ aʊ / word-finally and after a sonorant
ʌɪ → ɛɪ / except word-finally and after a sonorant
sonorant → ∅ / CC_
∅ → a / C_ʕC
∅ → ɛ / CC_C
ʉ → u
e o → i u
ʕC Cʕ → Cˀ
Cˤ → C̪ˤ / if coronal
kˤ → q
ŋˤ gˤ→ ʁ
xˤ → ħ
x → uvular χ
∅ → ʔ / (#V)_V
ˤ → ∅ / (wj)_
t͡ʃ d͡ʒ → ʃ ʒ
ɛɔ → aʊ
m̩ n̩ → aw̃ ã

Final Phonology:
/m mˤ n n̪ˤ ŋ/
/p pˤ b bˤ t t̪ˤ d d̪ˤ k g q (ʔ)/
/f fˤ v vˤ s s̪ˤ z z̪ˤ ʃ ʃˤ ʒ ʒˤ χ ʁ h ħ ʕ/
/l l̪ˤ ɾ ɾ̪ˤ/
/w j/
/i ɛ a ɔ u iː uː ã/
/aɪ oɪ ɛɪ aʊ aw̃/

Here we see a slew of relatively rapid sound changes brought about by the widespread MSA bilingualism of the NCME speakers and their greatly diminishing contact with other English speakers as, in-universe, the human civilisation in general and on New California in particular starts collapsing and the resulting sociopolitical troubles lead to a creation of increasingly poor and isolated communities in place of former sorta-global classic sci-fi colonies. The final product of these sound changes is something that sounds entirely unlike English, mostly due to the pharyngealisation of the retroflex approximant and the subsequent reduction of C+pharyngeal clusters into pharyngealised consonants. Pharyngealised /x/ becomes /ħ/ and the rest of pharyngealised velars become uvulars.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2018 12:58 pm 
Lebom
Lebom

Joined: Thu Oct 13, 2016 2:43 am
Posts: 102
Location: Russia, Saint-Petersburg
Hello again, comrades!

I am back to working on this lang, though I have a few questions about phonology that I'l like to hear your opinion on first to determine in which direction I should proceed:

Firstly, can uvulars and uvularized consonants affect non-high vowels, and if so, how? I am planning on reducing the vowel system to /i ɛ ɑ u/ with length distinction and then expanding it again by making allophones of vowels adjacent to the emphatics phonemic.

Secondly, I am thinking about leniting the voiced consonants in most environments so that /b d dʒ g/ becomes /v r j ɣ/ except when after a nasal or word-initial, the nasal+voiced sequences then become proper prenasalised consonants while the word-initials are prenasalised by analogy and the lenited consonats either remain as they are or have /v ɣ/ merge into /w/.

And thirdly, would it be possible to realistically have voiced fricatives in a phonology that has no phonemically voiced plosives, only prenaslaised ones? Or would they turn into something else fast?


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2018 8:54 pm 
Smeric
Smeric
User avatar

Joined: Thu Oct 29, 2015 6:44 am
Posts: 1998
Location: suburbs of Mrin
See no problem with 2, don't know about the others

_________________
ìtsanso, God In The Mountain, may our names inspire the deepest feelings of fear in urkos and all his ilk, for we have saved another man from his lies! I welcome back to the feast hall kal, who will never gamble again! May the eleven gods bless him!
kårroť


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2018 2:18 am 
Sanno
Sanno

Joined: Tue Nov 14, 2006 10:30 am
Posts: 939
Location: Tübingen, Germany
Knit Tie wrote:
Firstly, can uvulars and uvularized consonants affect non-high vowels, and if so, how? I am planning on reducing the vowel system to /i ɛ ɑ u/ with length distinction and then expanding it again by making allophones of vowels adjacent to the emphatics phonemic.

Yes, they can, in the same way as with high vowels (lowering and/or backing). Which might result in preventing a change in the opposite direction. Starting with /i ɛ ɑ u/, you could for example have /i u/ > [e o] when uvularized, and /ɛ ɑ/ > [e o] when not uvularized. Uvularized instances of /ɛ ɑ/ may or may not then merge into a single low vowel [ɑ].

Quote:
Secondly, I am thinking about leniting the voiced consonants in most environments so that /b d dʒ g/ becomes /v r j ɣ/ except when after a nasal or word-initial, the nasal+voiced sequences then become proper prenasalised consonants while the word-initials are prenasalised by analogy and the lenited consonats either remain as they are or have /v ɣ/ merge into /w/.

Very plausible.

Quote:
And thirdly, would it be possible to realistically have voiced fricatives in a phonology that has no phonemically voiced plosives, only prenaslaised ones? Or would they turn into something else fast?

Attested in Fijian.

_________________
Blog: audmanh.wordpress.com
Conlangs: Ronc Tyu | Buruya Nzaysa | Doayâu | Tmaśareʔ


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 7 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 6 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group