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CONLANG  January 2001, Week 2

CONLANG January 2001, Week 2

Subject:

Re: Igassik Morphophonology

From:

jesse stephen bangs <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Constructed Languages List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Mon, 8 Jan 2001 15:19:33 -0800

Content-Type:

TEXT/PLAIN

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

TEXT/PLAIN (61 lines)

dirk elzinga sikayal:

> > I suppose `syllables' are something not so easy to define then.
> > Listening to people from Georgia, I decided that the two v, the r and
> > the i make syllables. So I counted four, thinking the second was
> > stressed: v-'prts-kv-ni.
> >
> > But I don't know whether that's accepted theory. It was what I heard
> > and how I could pronounce the word so that people said: `Yes,
> > right.'. :-)
>
> This is an interesting question, and one which different natural
> languages handle differently. In Berber, for example, there are
> no restrictions on letting obstruents (stops, fricatives,
> affricates) be syllabic (or at least, very few restrictions), so
> syllable structure is rather simple. Here are some examples
> (syllable peaks are in capitals):
>
> .rA.tK.tI. 'she will remember'
> .bD.dL. 'exchange!'
> .tF.tKt. 'you suffered a sprain'
> .tzMt. 'it (f) is stifling'
> .tR.gLt. 'you have locked'
>
> etc

I didn't think that stops could be syllable peaks. It seems impossible to
me, since it's impossible to prolong the articulation of a stop and still
have it be stop-like. Unless, of course, the symbols above are actually
fricatives.


> (snip fascinating and impronounceable examples)
>
> My impression from the literature is that syllabification in
> Georgian is actually more like Bella Coola than like Berber;
> i.e., consonants pile up into clusters to avoid being made
> syllable nuclei. So the form you cite above would be a single
> phonological syllable, since there is only one segment which is
> eligible to be a syllable nucleus (/i/). How it is actually
> articulated is another matter; even the most nimble tongue will
> have transitional spaces between consonants which will sound
> like vowels.

Is the idea of "phonological syllable" even valid? I've always thought of
syllables as a feature of phonetics and articulatory factors.

>
> Dirk
>
> --
> Dirk Elzinga
> [log in to unmask]
>

Jesse S. Bangs [log in to unmask]
"It is of the new things that men tire--of fashions and proposals and
improvements and change. It is the old things that startle and
intoxicate. It is the old things that are young."
-G.K. Chesterton _The Napoleon of Notting Hill_

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