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On Wed, 16 Jul 2003 12:21:35 -0400, Paul Roser <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

>Can you give the phoneme inventory yet, or is that still in the works? I've
>noticed some interesting features in a few of the Kolagian languages, such
>as the alternation between /r/ (a tap) and /K/ (a voiceless lateral
>fricative) in Jirit (which I realize is Mizarian and not one of the Zireen
>languages).

Consonants                                  Vowels
p          t                   k            i       u
  v    D   s z   s` z`   j\    x
  m          n                 N             E
           K l                                     A

No interesting alternations, but it's derived from a still undocumented
Zireen language that underwent a historical change /c/ -> /s/ (which
explains the absence of /c/). The ancestors of that language could have had
a more symmetrical system with voiceless stops /p/ /t/ /t`/ /c/ /k/ and
voiced fricatives /v/ /D/ /z/ /z`/ /j\/ /G/. It's possible that /t`/ ended
up as /s`/ (by way of /t`s`/), but I really don't know yet where that /s`/
(romanized "hr") came from. It's possible that both /K/ and /s`/ descend
from clusters ("hl", "hr") in an older form of the language.

The 4-vowel system is probably as typical of Zireen languages as 3-vowel
and 5-vowel systems in human languages. This is the same set of vowels as
in Simik (Zirinka) and Hinate~ (with the addition of 4 nasal vowels in the
case of Hinate~). Ishiriká has the same four vowels plus [log in to unmask] So far I
don't know of any Zireen languages with 3-vowel /a/ /i/ /u/ or 5-vowel /a/
/e/ /i/ /o/ /u/ inventories.

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