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CONLANG  October 2000, Week 1

CONLANG October 2000, Week 1

Subject:

Re: THEORY: final features, moras, and roots [was: it's what I do]

From:

Raymond Brown <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Constructed Languages List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Fri, 6 Oct 2000 07:56:59 +0100

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text/plain

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At 11:14 pm -0600 5/10/00, dirk elzinga wrote:
>On Thu, 5 Oct 2000, DOUGLAS KOLLER wrote:
>
>> Well I'm still confused. The "mora" thing has always stumped me, but isn't
>> "hatten" two syllables, four morae?
>
>Yup. Here's the representation for the entire word:

Yep - two bimoraic syllables or, if one prefers, two heavy syllables.

>          s   s
>          |\  |\
>          m m m m
>         /| |/| |
>        h a t e n
>
>Notice that the [t] is doubly linked; it is moraic in the first
>syllable and provides the onset for the second syllable. This is
>another definition of geminate: a consonant which is linked to two
>syllables at once. However, this definition of geminate relies on a
>representation which is the product of theoretical assumptions not all
>are willing to make.

Interesting - I must confess I've always understood morae to apply to the
syllabic nucleus and coda (i.e. the rhyme _or_ rime) and to have nothing to
do with the onset.  However, I'm always willing to learn something new.
Dirk's analysis above cartainly looks neat  :)

I guess at the moment I have to say I neither agree nor disagree with that
analysis of an internal geminate consonant.  But IIRC some languages allow
final geminates.  Don't they occur, e.g. in Hungarian and Arabic?

[...]
>
>> Sambon ("three bottles") two syllables, four morae? (sa-n-bo-n,
>> pronounced sam-bon).
>
>Right again. Here's the chart:

Yep - just like _cumbunt_ in Latin.

[....]

>> Shinhatsubai ("newly out on the market") four syllables, six morae?
>
>Outstanding! Here it is:

Yep - just what I make it also.

[...]
>
>To sum up: moras are used to reckon syllable weight; that's their
>raison d'etre, theoretically speaking.

Yep - that's what I've understood also.  Which, as far as I can see, means
that such morae are also entirely appropriate for the analysis of ancient
Greek verse & prose rhythms, but not for the possible placement of the
pitch accent which was conditioned by syllabic nuclei (i.e. vowels) only.

Ray.


=========================================
A mind which thinks at its own expense
will always interfere with language.
                   [J.G. Hamann 1760]
=========================================

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