> David Bell wrote: > > >Don't apologize, until this discussion came up, I hadn't even > realized the > >complexity involved here myself. I have, however been pronouncing this > >conlang with essentially the same phonology and stress patterns > for a good > >number of years now and so I'm very certain of my intuitions > here. A lot of > >other things about the language have changed over the years, but > these have > >been fairly stable. Just what universal tendencies of syllabification do > >you feel are being violated here? When I read amman iar, its > sounds quite > >natural to me. > > Some linguists have argued that syllabification tends to follow the > following set of constraints: > > -- Avoid vowel-initial syllables whenever possible > -- Avoid consonant-final syllables whenever possible > -- Avoid clusters of two or more consonants within the same syllable > > I've ranked these constraints in order of inviolability (based on cross- > linguistic tendencies). These constraints would produce the following > syllabification patterns, which seem to be valid for a large number of > natlangs that I'm aware of: > > (1) VCV is almost always syllabified as V.CV, not VC.V > > (2) VCCV is typically syllabified as VC.CV, not V.CCV or VCC.V > > (3) VCCCV is typically syllabified as VC.CCV or VCC.CV, not > VCCC.V or V.CCCV > > Although (2) and (3) are violated in many languages, some linguists > have argued that (1) is a strong tendency - a near universal, even. Fascinating! I haven't seen this before. Do you have some references that I could pursue? Alas, amman iar does violate (1) and (2) quite regularly. > Of course, the question of how to syllabify consonants is complicated > in some languages (like English) which display "ambisyllabicity" > effects. In certain VCV sequences in English, native speaker intuitions > suggest that the consonant actually belongs to both syllables at once. > For example, when asked to break up the word "happy" [haepi] into > syllables, many native speakers will hesitate between [hae.pi] and > [haep.i]. When asked to pronounce these words slowly, syllable > by syllable, they will often come up with [haep...pi], repeating the > consonant as both coda and onset. This I think might occur with geminate consonants, thus the hypothesized *erinnis could be either er.inn'is or er.in'nis, I think. > Perhaps (he said, brandishing Occam's razor one final time) Amman > Iar has ambisyllabicity as well? Perhaps the "n" in "erinis" is really > both syllable-final and syllable-initial? Just a shot in the dark... As appealing as that razor sharp analysis is, I'm afraid not. While *erinnis could be ambisyllabic, erinis most certainly is not. However, I still prefer that part of your analysis of case endings in which the stress shift is primary and the gemination concomitant. I really only requires a slight change. Case endings trigger a shift in stress to the final syllable of the root (erinis[er'inis]+en > *erinisen[erinis'en]). amman iar metrical rules prohibit stress on a syllable with a simple vowel followed by a single consonant, and so the final consonant of the root undergoes gemination (> erinissen[eriniss'en] or ambisyllabically [erinis'sen]). Still a clean little application of ole Occam's tool. David'