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CONLANG  October 2002, Week 3

CONLANG October 2002, Week 3

Subject:

Re: Taalen mutations

From:

Pavel Iosad <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Constructed Languages List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Sat, 19 Oct 2002 00:50:05 +0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

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> Heb y Pavel,

Annwyl Aidan,

Heb titheu:

>     (I'm taking Middle Welsh this term, can you tell? ;)

Aaargghh!!! Dyn lwcus!

No Welsh here at MSU :-( Yeah, I _have_ started Mod. Irish, and I'll
possibly be taking Old Irish next semester and Breton next year...

Though, I have very firmly articulated my desire to have Welsh, so one
of the teachers promised to arrage a meeting with one of the faculty
members (who doesn't teach, sadly) so that we could set up a small MW
reading class *anxious for that*

> > > If  soft mutation looks like this: p,t,c,b,d,g >
> b,d,g,m,n,ņ (or /N/);
> >f,/T/,/X/>v,/D/,/G/
> > > And breathed like this: p,t,c,b,d,g >
> f,/T/,/X/,v,/D/,/G/; m>v; s>sh,
> >sh>h
[...]
> >Hmm, if it runs like this, I find it a bit strange
> (especially the nT >
> >D part).
>
>      The /nT/ > /D/ is actually an analogical development.
> Originally, the
> fricatives did not mutate, but eventually the voicing that applied to
> unvoiced stops applied to unvoiced fricatives as well.

Was that only initially, or word-medially too? If it was the latter,
then wow, the Taalen speakers _are_ Ņoldor! :-)

> "Ancient scholars"
> believe that it was simply voice assimilation that caused the
> change, so
> that's another thought on the matter.
>
> >Based on the rationale alone, I'd suggest _l_ change into
> respectively
> >an unrounded [w] (what's the X-SAMPA?)

[M\] (diolch bnathyuw)

> and _lh_
> respectively, and _lh_
> >into _l_ and its own geminated form.
> >The Noldo in me also whispers something asbout _nl_ > _ll_ or _nn_
> >(hmm... a _l_ > _nn_ mutation is piquant!)
>
>      Hmm... I don't know how to make this unrounded [w], so
> that's a strike against it.

Try a _heavily_ velarized [l] until it is an approximant. I think I have
heard in some pronunciations of 'cold'. I also stand by my opinion that
is the sound of the Polish crossed _l_

> Also [r] vocalizes frequently [ar > aa] , and I
> don't want to add another liquid vocalizing (particularly because
> the name of the lang
> would become Taan or Tauren, which sound great, but just
> aren't *right* - I
> hope you understand what I mean).

Hmm, why couldn't this be closed class immune to sound-changes for some
reason? That was an idea I once toyed with for Quenya, but eventually
abandoned it as a working theory; I'd love to implement it.... I
actually did and it was exactly the same situation - in Skuodian, V_d_V
> V_r_V after stressed syllables (virtually ALL words are stressed on
the first syllable), but the language's name resists, and its Skuodian,
not Skuorian.

But there, I'm not wedded to that _r_.

>    On the other hand, the Noldo in me likes the l>n change
> too, but I think
> levelling would return it to [l] or remove the [l]
> altogether.
> For example,
> _emeth_ 'shrine' < nemeton, where the [n-] was interpreted as
> part of the article (i, in before vowels).

Do you mean that this _nn_ could be reinterpreted as part of the
article?

[...]
>    Thanks for the help Pavel.

Anytime.

>    By the way, I have an interesting idea that you might
> appreciate: French
> is, of course, the language of love, and German the language
> of Psychiatry.
> Similar categorization for other langs exist, but here's my
> suggestion for
> Welsh: it's the lang of adventure and fantasy. I mean, every
> significant
> fantasy novel with a lang is either blatantly ripped off from Welsh
> (Jordan's Wheel of Time series) or greatly inspired by it (Sindarin).
> Whaddaya think?

Come to think of it, you might be true after all! The idea I think is
that for an average English English speaker Welsh is the stereotypical
familiar-yet-alien-and-mysterious thingy, which would be the effect a
good SF author ought to be aiming at (at least Tolkien did!). Which
stereotype might have well been enshrined in the language uitself and
thus migrated (not sure here tho')

Pavel
--
Pavel Iosad               [log in to unmask]

Is mall a mharcaicheas am fear a bheachdaicheas
                 --Scottish proverb

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