At 8:26 PM -0500 03/14/02, Aidan Grey wrote:
>At 03:09 PM 3/14/2002 -0700, you wrote:
>>Thanks to Aidan for letting me put my resolution to the test.
>   You're welcome! And thanks for the comments, and allowing me to put the
>recent discussion to the test.
>>>Basic phonology:
>>You mean "inventory", right?
>    Yes.
>>>    vowels (both simple and diphthong) are long or short. The distinction
>>>is represented orthographically by geminate consonants or clusters
>>>following a short vowel in stressed syllables. Unstressed syllables are
>>>always short.
>>Okay. You realize that this orthographic decision will leave you
>>without a clear way of representing long consonants (you mention the
>>possibility of long consonants later on).
>    Maybe it should be said that length is always present in the stressed
>syllable, either on the vowel, or on the consonant, which is thereby
>represented in orthography as geminate. Clusters are considered long, which
>forces a short length on any given vowel or diphthong.
>    son /sown/  vs. sonn /son:/
>    cauba /kawb@/  vs.  caubra /kCbr@/

Okay, two things. First, it seems as if you are saying that
consonants can in fact be long, and that these consonants are written
as geminates. Is this true? If so, can a syllable be considered long
if it contains a short vowel and a coda consonant (of any kind); that
is, is the first syllable in the phonological template .CVC.CV. long?

Second, if 'br' can form a legitimate onset, then the first syllable
of 'caubra' could very well be long, since the cluster belongs to the
second syllable:

        caubra [log in to unmask]


>>It seems that there might be some extra-linguistic history behind
>>some of the orthographic decisions you've made. Fill us in.
>    Well, there may be, but mostly it is what _looks right_ to me, so
>unless it's critiqued as being confusing, or unrealistic, etc., I don't
>really know what to say about extra-linguistic history.

What I mean is that in the fictional history of your language, is
there a reason why the orthography looks the way it does? There
doesn't seem to be purely linguistic rationale for it, so I wondered

>The variation
>between f and ph, v and bh, for example, really depends on what looks right
>to me. I _think_ that it is f or v, with ph or bh only appearing at the end
>of a word (because I really don't like the look of either of them in final
>position). _oe_ is the same - I just don't like how _oi_ looks. In cases
>like this, I usually create something else ad hoc to explain why.
>    For example, the "mythical" transliterator of the alphabet was a woman
>named Har Sceillen, and she set things up the way they are. This means that
>I will use her whenever handy to say "because Har did it that way!" ;)

This is what I meant.

>    Or, I can explain orthographic choices in terms of the original sounds.
>_oe_, for example, was much less of a j-glide diphthong at one point, and
>more like a w-glide diphthong, something like /wI/, only with a very much
>weaker /w/. Maybe something like a frontish schwa that was eventually

This is another way to go.


Dirk Elzinga                  [log in to unmask]

Man deth swa he byth thonne he mot swa he wile.
'A man does as he is when he can do what he wants.'

- Old English Proverb