Print

Print


On Fri, 10 Nov 2000, LeoMoser([log in to unmask]) wrote:

> The issue of how sequences of vowels are
> pronounced in Conlangs has been IMO little
> addressed. Many artlang feature quite a few
> such sequences. Some do not specify how
> they are to be pronounced.

<wry g>  I specify that they're pronounced in whatever ways in whatever
dialects but as I'm overhauling the ancestor-language the "data" on
Chevraqis are subject to change.

The way the writing system is set up lets you know exactly where syllable
boundaries fall "canonically."  Again, I haven't processed specific
dialects and variations (see above for why).  I'm considering limiting
vowel-sequence possibilities to i + (other vowel) anyway.

> Let's look at this from an artlang point of view.
> Would you have the following pronounced as
> one or two syllable words in your languages?
> (As "Imaginary words," they are marked by *;
> please don't worry if some are actual words
> in some natlang.)
>
> If we opt for two syllables, we get such initial
> combos as the following:
> Initial [dj] in: *dieto, *dieno, *dialo etc.
> Initial [sj] in: *siesto, *sievo, *siamo etc.
> Initial [kj] in: *kiano, *kiepto, *kielo etc.
> Initial [vj] in: *viato, *vieno, *violo etc.
> Initial [gj] in: *giapo, *gieno, *giosto etc.
> Initial [bj] in: *bialo, *biento, *biesto etc.
[snip]
>
> Would these be safer to define as three syllables?
> What differing effects would the results have in
> an artlang? Would it be easier to sing in one
> form or another? Would poetry be easier in
> one form or another?

These would all be three syllables in Chevraqis, especially for the
literate.  I don't make any claims for drunk Chevraqis-speakers.  =^)

Poetry is syllabic so it does make a difference.  Spoken poetry might
blur the distinctions between two- and three-syllable words like the ones
above (which hardly exist in Chevraqis anyway, but that's irrelevant to
your discussion).  Written poetry, by the nature of the vowel-based
writing system, *could* not do so.  Whether poetry is "easier" or
"harder" depends on what words you're trying to squash in where.  (I
discovered that writing haiku in German is a royal pain!)

OC I imagine that the results would differ by individual artlang.  :-)

> Combinations of -oa- -eo- etc. face the danger
> that English speakers insert a semivowel, making
> such things as -owa- and -eyo-. This is, to a
> degree, another issue.

I don't actually care that much.  Since my artlang is related to my
writing and I'm aware that your average fantasy reader will pronounce a
name however s/he pleases (with a few exceptions; I assiduously attempt
to pronounce Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time names as he presents them even
if I think they're terribly, hmm, disphonic?), so I settle for something
that will hopefully look pronounceable to an English-speaker and be
internally consistent for *my* peace of mind.  (I've compromised with
some names--spelling "Ese" as "Esse," frex, just so they "look better.")

YHL