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CONLANG  August 2009, Week 3

CONLANG August 2009, Week 3

Subject:

Re: Possible origins for aspiration

From:

Eric Christopherson <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Constructed Languages List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Mon, 17 Aug 2009 18:20:17 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

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On Aug 17, 2009, at 2:38 PM, Edgard Bikelis wrote:

> Oops...
>
> On Mon, Aug 17, 2009 at 4:36 PM, Edgard Bikelis <[log in to unmask]>  
> wrote:
>
>> Hi all!
>>
>> I have a proto-language without aspirated consonants, and I need to  
>> get
>> them, but how? The language has P T K voiceless and voiced, and I  
>> want to
>> have a sanskrit-like result, with voiceless aspirate and murmured  
>> voiced
>> consonants. In english it's conditioned by position, and only with  
>> voiceless
>> occlusives, but I need them to be everywhere.

I have a few ideas.

1. As you wrote below, you could derive aspirates from consonant + / 
h/, or /h/ + consonant; the /h/ itself could come from a similar  
sound, like /x/ or /s/.

2. You could have voiceless vowels, and have them develop into  
aspiration + voiced vowel (or voiced vowel + preaspiration). For  
example, /ki_0/ > /k_hi/.

Voiceless vowels, in turn, could develop from voiced ones in certain  
positions, like between two voiceless consonants, or after a voiceless  
consonant at the end of an utterance. Caveats: high vowels are more  
likely to be devoiced than lower ones, and systems with pitch accent  
or tone (ISTR) do not distinguish pitch or tone in voiceless vowels.  
Also, since voiceless vowels usually occur adjacent to voiceless  
consonants, this wouldn't help you develop murmured consonants, unless  
there was some further change in some consonants.

3. Aspiration could depend initially on position and stress, as in  
English, but those conditioning factors would later be lost. E.g., the  
stress could shift (just how this happens is something I'm very  
curious and unknowledgeable about), meaning aspiration would no longer  
be correlated with stress.

One conlang I know of has a rule that stops after /s/ are all  
unaspirated, and then the /s/ drops. But that conlang already has an  
aspiration contrast before those rules take effect.

4. You could have extensive borrowing from and mixing with languages  
which do have an aspiration contrast. I think that's thought to be  
responsible for many of the voiceless aspirates in Indic (although  
some instances do have plausible IE etymologies).

>> Can a vowel interfere (1), or
>> I will need some other consonant to get it (2)? The first option  
>> sounds much
>> more elegant to me.
>>
>> (1)
>> tVr > ? > thVr
>> rVd > ? > rVdh
>
>
> rather:
>
> tVra > ? > tHVr
> radV > ? > radH

I'm not sure of the reason for the development of aspiration here.  
Which vowels condition it?

(That I don't see how the vowels condition aspiration here is not  
necessarily a bad thing. Sometimes certain sounds condition other  
sounds, but without any known motivation; one example I remember is  
that Avestan /ax/ becomes /aNx/.)



>
>
>>
>> (2)
>> tahár > thar > tHar
>> rádah > radh > radH
>>
>> Edgard.
>>

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