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CONLANG  June 2003, Week 1

CONLANG June 2003, Week 1

Subject:

Re: Phoneme winnowing continues

From:

JS Bangs <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Constructed Languages List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Wed, 4 Jun 2003 11:59:51 -0700

Content-Type:

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TEXT/PLAIN (58 lines)

Mark J. Reed sikyal:

> CG> (it's only a "physical" property of normal connected speech, which
> CG> truly pronounces long vowels as long vowels and final nasals as ends of
> CG> syllable).
>
> Okay, I'll buy the nasals, but I don't understand what you mean by
> "truly pronounces long vowels as long vowels".  What is the phonetic
> difference between [to:] and [too]?

None the way you've written it, but you're confusing yourself by leaving
out syllable boundaries. Let's clarify: [to:] is one syllable with a long
vowel. This may also be written as [too]. However, both of these are
different from [to.o] ([.] is used to signify a syllable break). [to.o] is
a two-syllable word with two short vowels. Think of the English phrase "go
over"--no matter how fast I pronounce this, it remains 3 syllables, but
the first two approach [go.o]. (Let's ignore the phonetic specifics of
English /o/).

My conlang Yivrian has lots of these sorts of syllables, actually. [a.a]
is very common, with [o.o] and [u.u] as other possibilities. In fast
speech, however, these are reduced to monosyllabic [a:], [o:], [u:]. See
http://students.washington.edu/jaspax/yivrian/phonology_ipa.htm#auto_3.

> And let's not forget gemination.  Doesn't it also create an additional mora,
> so that "makka" has three morae rather than two?  Is there also a discernible
> difference between [mAk:A] and [mAkkA]?

Yep, /makka/ has three morae[*]. Here, again, you'll confuse yourself by
not noting syllable boundaries. Something like /makka/ has three
theoretically possible syllabifications:

[mak.ka]
[mak:.a]
[ma.k:a]

I doubt that any of these other than the first ever exists in the world's
languages, though.

[*] I don't know for sure if Japanese actually counts this as moraic,
though. While the first syllable of [mak.ka] is phonetically heavy,
a language does not necessarily have to count it as *phonologically*
heavy.  I vaguely suspect that Japanese does not assign a mora to coda
stops.


Jesse S. Bangs [log in to unmask]
http://students.washington.edu/jaspax/
http://students.washington.edu/jaspax/blog

Jesus asked them, "Who do you say that I am?"

And they answered, "You are the eschatological manifestation of the ground
of our being, the kerygma in which we find the ultimate meaning of our
interpersonal relationship."

And Jesus said, "What?"

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