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CONLANG  July 2017, Week 1

CONLANG July 2017, Week 1

Subject:

Re: Allophone Question

From:

Alex Fink <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Constructed Languages List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Thu, 6 Jul 2017 14:27:56 -0400

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text/plain

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On Wed, 5 Jul 2017 16:33:59 +0000, The Scribbler <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

>There are three allophones of my "h" letter in this conlang:
>ɦ • word-initial, post-nasal, and unstressed intervocalic positions • [ breathy-voiced glottal ]ʎ̥˔ • word-final following a front vowel or stressed intervocalic, /i/ or /e/ • [ voiceless lateral palatal fricative ]ç • word-final following other vowels or stressed intervocalic, that is /ɛ/, /a/, /o/, /u/ • [ voiceless palatal fricative ]
>In the case of stressed, which allophone largely depends on which vowel is stressed rather than whether it comes before or after.
>That said, I was assuming that the palatal fricative was the allophone undergoing fortition and the glottal was the underlying form, but does this actually make sense or is it more likely the other way around? It seems more likely the stronger form is underlying and undergoes lenition in word-initial or unstressed intervocalic positions. I've never made a language where h never showed up at all as a major letter/sound, and I guess deciding it was always pronounced just didn't register that I spend more time pronouncing this as a palatal than a glottal.

My outsider's impression would be that neither analysis, taking /h/ or taking /C/ as underlying, is absurd.  From the diachronic point of view, which of course is an imperfect guide to synchronic possibility, any fricative can turn into [h] more or less wherever, and conversely [h] can turn into [C] in front environments.  There's also the purist perspective which says "a phoneme doesn't have to be identified with any one of its allophones.  Call it 'coffee cup' if you want".

What is surprising in your system is that high front vowels induce lateralisation...

Alex

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