Vasiliy Chernov <[log in to unmask]> writes:
> IIRC, not uncommon in Africa, either. Can't say for the Americas.
> Worse, it *must* be so. First, you simply can't do without one of these
> categories (front rounded, non-front non-rounded) if you have to
> distinguish more than 7 vowel qualities (in fact, you can, but that's
> really exotic). So, the presence of [y], [}], etc. is partly a function
> of vowel differentiation.

Haha!  Funny.  Because I wanted a conlang with no lip movement , my
conlang Tyl-Sjok has 7 (how did you now??) unrounded vowels.  This is
not to be polite at court, but I found that a very funny thing to hear
about Japanese.  It is because the people who speak it have the
religion to be lazy.

Actually, those are pretty much the ones of Romanian as I learned here
last week (which made clear to me that my system wasn't too silly),
but all unrounded and the mid vowels moved to mid-low to better
distinguish them.  The system is (X-Sampa):

   i   1   M
   E   3   V

Especially [1] and [M] are a bit hard to distinguish.  Roundedness
would help, yes, but moving the mouth is out of question in my
conlang. :-)

To improve the differentiation, I just threw out all the diphthongs
([EV], [Mi], [Ei] and [VM]), because it was very hard to pronounce

BTW: My first translation into Tyl-Sjok [t1l SVk] (formerly (un-)known
as Tyl-Seok) is `The North Wind and The Sun'.  Should I post that?  Is
anyone interested?  I have a very detailed translation (unfortunately,
not on the Web yet).