Tom Wier wrote:

>Hey everyone! I'm back!

Welcome back!

Hmm. I'm not sure I would characterize that as one template, but rather
>as the shorthand for the great many possible syllables that are allowed.

Not that many: 9.
V       VC      VCC
CV      CVC     CVCC

>I'm not a phonologist, but I'd think that's important to take note of because
>I'm not sure there's any single *mental representation* in such a simple
>form like that.

I'm not sure what you mean by that.

>   That aside, it's fairly unusual to allow so much clustering
>of consonants (but by no means unheard of -- look at any IE language).

Four consonants in a row as a maximum? IE languages are very middle of the
spectrum if my experience is a good judge. Lots of languages have fewer
clusters, lots of languages have more. Even the fact that the clusters
could be completely stops isn't unheard of, though it is rather rare.

(Side note: I TAed for a new professor this past quarter. He was trained as
a semanticist in France, but given a class on the "History and Structure of
English Words". He knew jack about English morphology and phonology, and
the students could tell. He told them English allowed a maximum of two
consonants in an onset, and two in a coda. One of the students asked about
"street" and "spring". Someone else asked about "sixths" [sIksTs]. Yes, she
said all four consonants, quite to our surprise.

> > A word may have up to two syllables in it: CCVCCCCVCC.
> > There are lots of rules about what kind of consonant may occur adjacent to
> > another.
> > Vowels may never be adjacent.
>Does this apply at the word, phrase, or sentence level, or all three?
>That is, how do you handle hiatus? Is it filled with an epenthetic
>glottal stop, or do you get some kind of apocope or what?

Word level. Hiatus very rarely occurs, just by the nature of the language.
The only time it is possible is when a monosyllabic verb is inflected for
the past or future tense. That's only in theory, since I haven't invented
any monosyllabic words that don't have a consonant. Maybe I'll make that a

> > Basically, the consonants follow the Sonority Heirarchy and a Place
> Heirarchy.
>[snip of concise synopsis]
>Both imminently naturalistic.

The Sonority Heirarchy is a standard part of phonological theory. The Place
Heirarchy isn't established to my knowledge, but it seems possible. I
constructed that order from looking at multiple languages, and choosing
what I liked when I couldn't find a general trend.

> > Now for some fun word structure. I'll give a general outline, then give
> > some specific examples.
>[snip outline]
> > If you made it this far, I'm very impressed. What do you think?
>Very interesting, elegant even.


>    But I wouldn't call it a theory, so much as a
>description, since theories are supposed to have predictive value

That's because I was diluting the theory since I figured very few people on
this list would be interested in the details. Basically, my approach has
almost all the predictive power of Autosegmental Phonology, which this was
based on. In fact, my inspiration for this approach was Joseph McCarthy's
analysis of Semitic trilateral roots.

Besides that, I find the requirement that segments of a tier cannot must
maintain their linear ordering a very strong prediction about phonological
behavior. It makes metathesis impossible for segments of the same tier (I
understand metathesis to be similarly excluded in Semitic languages).

Thanks for the comments.  The syntax (coming soon) has a very similar basis.


Marcus Smith
AIM:  Anaakoot
"When you lose a language, it's like
dropping a bomb on a museum."
   -- Kenneth Hale