Print

Print


On Fri, 10 Nov 2000, Steg Belsky wrote:

> On Thu, 9 Nov 2000 23:40:57 -0500 Yoon Ha Lee <[log in to unmask]> writes:
>
> > > Possible Syllable Structures Are:
> > > C, V, CV, VC, CVC, CRV, VRC, CVRC, CRVC, CRVRC.
> > > (R = glide, approximant, flap)
> > > (C = any consonant, including G/A/Fs)
> >
> > Question: when you figure out syllable structure and you're *not*
> > doing
> > the cheesy (C)V(C) thing like I tend to do, how do you figure out
> > something that will avoid messy consonant-cluster jams that are
> > really
> > difficult to pronounce?  (I find the latter part of German "du
> > sprichst"
> > really hard.)  Your example is neat...do you use a particular
> > system?
> > Knowledge of phonetics?  I just picked upa book on phonetics, intro,
> > so I wonder if that'd help....
>
> This is the first time that i've made anything with syllable constraints
> like this.  Rokbeigalmki has many hard consonant clusters, but i wanted
> this to be easier to pronounce, considering i had put in the incredibly
> confusing (to me) pair of phonemes /4/ and /R/, as well as the gemination
> fricatives.  So i just looked at the sounds, and saw that having stops at
> the ends but not next to eachother would make it smoother.

<wry g>  I was too busy at the time to read the gemination posts and
unfortunately missed out on that; I'll look it up sometime.  Mind if I
try something along those lines (figuring out how to separate stops from
each other)?  I worry about this because when I'm applying sound changes
from ancestor to "modern" conlang, I'm never sure how to deal with
syllable structure and possible consonant clusters in such a way that the
descendant is actually pronounceable, which is why I tend to like CV
structure.

I need to find lots of simple examples of sound changes in natlangs and
study 'em so I can figure out what's what.  Crowley's _Introduction to
Historical Linguistics_ helped a lot but I still feel happier working
with, I dunno, more raw examples so I can figure out what I want to do.

> > Is this stress by making-syllable-louder?  Neat idea!  :-)  I bet it
> > will
> > end up sounding unusual and, well, goblinesque.
>
> It comes out louder, lengthened, and sometimes higher-pitch as well.  It
> ended up sounding really Goblinesque when i realized that when trying to
> train myself to pronounce {e} as /E/ and not /e/ caused me to adopt
> creaky voice!

<G>  Neat!  If only the tabletop GMs I knew would do things like
this...though actually, to "simulate" the experience of communications
problems in a tabletop session a friend and I were running...

What happened was that the PCs ran into an alliance of peoples (loosely
based on the Romans--this was Legend of the Five Rings with some Legend
of the Burning Sands tossed in, if you're familiar with the L5R rpg) but
they only spoke Rokugani ("Japanese"), not Yodotai ("Latin").

I couldn't use random Latin phrases, because Beth knew Latin.  I couldn't
use Korean, because Peter is also Korean-American and knows some Korean.
I couldn't use German or French, because DJ knew some of each.

So for the Yodotai tongue, I used random Turkish phrases, probably badly
mispronounced (I don't have tapes yet, though I have a primer)...but no
one in the group could tell anyway.  It was very amusing, especially when
I accidentally picked a phrase containing "otomobil."

> > On a side note, I did a hash job of "phonology" for a play-by-email
> > fantasy roleplaying campaign my sister and I are running, Shazrad:
> > City
> > of Veils (http://www.bigfoot.com/~shazrad/).  I am sure that any
> > conlanger who happens across the site will wince...but at the time I
> > hadn't picked up any books on phonology/phonetics and we wanted a
> > "naming
> > guide" for people so they would know what sorts of names fit into
> > the
> > language and culture.
>
> I like the names you got there on that website!

Thank you.  :-)  We were trying for a 1001 Nights feel but neither
Alioqui nor I is familiar with Arabic, alas (I haven't found any books on
Arabic that look good for self-teaching in the local bookstore), so we
fudged it.  Though one character based his name, Kaabyshan, on French
"cabochon"...

YHL