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zompist bboard • View topic - Vowel Systems

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 Post subject: Vowel Systems
PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2013 9:27 pm 
Avisaru
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Last edited by dhok on Sun Feb 17, 2013 3:45 pm, edited 5 times in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2013 9:45 pm 
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2013 10:05 pm 
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I'll need to digest this.

I have also seen: http://gesc19764.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/v ... stems.html.

Which is pretty good imo.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2013 10:12 pm 
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2013 10:53 pm 
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2013 4:55 am 
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2013 6:33 am 
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2013 6:37 am 
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TzirTzi: That's not a nitpick, it's a weak point in the post. Specifically, when talking about phonological systems in so much detail, it's important to be clear exactly what you're talking about when you say something.

For example, Fearful, your strange claim that Ubykh's having two vowels is "dubious" arises from a lack of initial clarity in what it means to "have" a "vowel". Vowel charts like the above are not normally meant to list the phones found in the language. The facts about Ubykh in this matter are pretty much known, and the remaining argument over whether it might have a third "vowel" centers on whether long /a:/ might contrast with short /a/, not over how to describe the other vowel qualities found. Frontness and backness are induced by adjacent consonants in a predictable way.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2013 6:47 am 
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Why didn't you include Hungarian /Q/ and /E/? They're quality differences too.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2013 6:56 am 
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2013 7:12 am 
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I think my reasoning for having /ø/ by itself when back-inventing sound changes was that /u/ began to become more open, and /o/ got fronted rather than opening further. Anyway, including diphthongs and phonation there are 38 distinct vowels in Himmaswa, so I think basically the entire vowel system is unstable. I imagine a highly variable dialect continuum would exist. I also imagine that the schwa could easily be raised in some dialects. Anyway thanks for the comment, it is helpful.


Last edited by clawgrip on Fri Feb 15, 2013 7:16 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2013 7:13 am 
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2013 7:25 am 
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2013 10:46 am 
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2013 1:08 pm 
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2013 2:04 am 
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2013 2:52 am 
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2013 3:54 am 
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2013 3:19 am 
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There's a fellow who's apparently been working really hard to catalog American English dialects and he suggests anywhere from 13-16 contrastive vowels for American speakers:

http://aschmann.net/AmEng/#Vowels

What would this system be classified as, something like T16?

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2013 3:43 am 
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Ok I was going through the OP to count how many different classifications there, were reached some double-digit number, looked over at the scroll bar on the posting box and it wasn't even 1/4 of the way down. I stopped.

TAKE BEGINNERS OUT OF THE THREAD TITLE

No way in shit this is solely for beginners. Probably useful, but yeah no. Maybe Shittons of Vowel Systems or Compendium of many Vowel Systems, but please take beginners out.


(This started as wanting to respond to the T16? question post as 'Surely it would merely be T10+, a classification system for beginners wouldn't go higher than that...', then deciding to check before I did so. Holy fuck am I glad I did)

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 Post subject: Re: Vowel Systems
PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2013 5:08 pm 
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This probably should be a wiki entry, so as not to be dependant on one person. E.g. what I think this entire topic seriously needs is a featural analysis over the impressionistic "triangle"/"square"/"vertical" stuff. That would actually help people in making the vowel system "work" in a natural way (ie. with respect to phonological processes).

For an example, "S4" and "TF4" can be distinguished by how they encode /e/. You could have this:
/i/ [+front] [+high]
/u/ [+high]
/e/
/a/ [+low]
This would make it basically "T4" with the frontness of /e/ as a phonetical detail. Alternately:
/i/ [+front] [+high]
/u/ [+high]
/e/ [+front]
/a/ [+low]
This makes a "true" triangle where /e/ patterns with /i/ but not /a/. Simpler yet however is the "square" approach, which only takes two features:
/i/ [+front] [+high]
/u/ [+high]
/e/ [+front]
/a/
Different choices of active features could be used to switch whichever vowel is "default" — if we'd use [+back] rather than [+front], then /e/ would be the least marked, not /a/.

Also some addenda:
— The opposite of the Big Nambas system, /i ə a o u/ is found in Monguor and some related languages.
— I'm pretty sure I've seen /i e a ɔ o u/ described from a couple places. Also, /i ɨ u ə a/.
— A very back-heavy /i e~ə u ʊ o ɔ ɑ/ can be found in several Mongolian languages. A couple varieties add front vowels like /y ʏ ø e ɛ œ/ (anywhere from one to six of them).
— Vowel length provides some hard-to-analyze systems. Northern Mansi has the short vowels /i ɑ o u/, long vowels /eː ɑː oː uː/. Far Eastern Khanty has four short vowels /ĕ ø̆ ă ŏ/ versus 11 full vowels /i y ɯ u e ø o œ ɔ æ ɑ/.
— So does diphthongization. The Samic vowel systems are fairly diphthong-dominated, and listing their monophthongs is not going to be an adequate picture of what's going on.

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 Post subject: Re: Vowel Systems
PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2013 4:10 pm 
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If you have an unstable vowel system can you tell how it's going to collapse (roughly)


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 Post subject: Re: Vowel Systems
PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2013 4:45 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: Vowel Systems
PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2013 6:44 pm 
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One of my langs, Classical Minva, has six short vowels
/e ə i~ɪ ɔ ʊ u/
Colors indicate vowel harmony class, with blue being neutral.
In words with /ɔ ʊ/ /e/ merges with /i~ɪ/ as [ɪ], while in words with /e u/, /ɔ ʊ/ correspond to /u/. I know several Indian languages have short vowel systems which replace T5 /a/ with /ə/, so is this a tenable variation on that?


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