li [Andrew Nowicki] mi tulis la

> Rex May wrote:
> > Let's see, suppose you have five vowels and
> > three diphthongs (Call them all 'V').  And
> > twenty consonants.  You then have 8 morphemes
> > of the shape V, 160 of the shape CV,  And if
> > you can end with a consonant, you have3200
> > CVS's.
> If every word begins and ends with a consonant,
> these words will produce consonant clusters
> that are nearly impossible to pronounce.

I pronounce words like that all day long.  For those who do have
problems you can always toss in buffer vowel.

> Larry Sulky wrote:
> >So Txeqli's scheme is actually quite elegant...
> Some Txeqli/Tceqli phonemes are difficult
> to pronounce:
> R as in RoaR
> bx - bilabial fricative as in Spanish 
> dx - as in English THen 
> gx - fricative as in Urdu baGH 
> kx - unvoiced version of GH 
> tx - as in English THin 

I believe these are limited to proper names and/or loanwords.  (Correct
me if I'm wrong, Rex) 

> Many Txeqli/Tceqli roots are too long
> for compound words.

They look fine to me.  Definitely shorter than in many natural

> > 1) Begin and end all morphemes with vowels.
> > ilomi does this almost completely. It requires
> > the use of a glottal stop between like vowels
> > at morpheme boundaries, but that is a natural
> > inclination anyway. The overall word form seems
> > plausible until a learner realises that it's
> > not just some words that have this form, it's
> > bloody well all of them.
> This is the best way. Stressed antepenultima
> helps too.

Unfortunately this system sounds good on paper, until you hear how
Spanish is spoken.  Spanish speakers like to run together vowels so that
"Santa Ana" comes out as "Santana".  I would also expect that some other
combinations may tend to become diphthongs for many speakers, especially
in cases where vowels like /i/ or /u/ are involved.  The glottal
insertion is a good idea, but may not work well in practice.

> > 2) Begin _or_ end all morphemes with diphthongs, which do not occur
> > elsewhere.
> Interesting, but not compatible with
> compound words because you would have 
> to use the diphthongs as part of speech
> markers and diphthongs are too long for
> that. Efficient, terse language uses
> part of speech markers that are as short
> as one phoneme.

I see this as a valid method, but have to somewhat agree that they are a
bit too lengthy to be used in common speech.  Not everyone will be able
to pronounce certain diphthongs and will tend to prounounce as two
separate vowels, thus two syllables.

> >3) Use heavy stress on the first _or_ last syllable of all morphemes.
> >This requires that speakers be accustomed to the use of stress. Also,
> >it's difficult to do on one-syllable morphemes. A variation 
> is to have
> >one-syllable morphemes use diphthongs, which do not occur elsewhere,
> >for their vowels. Another variation is to eschew one-syllable
> >morphemes (which would make you, Rex, very sad).
> Stress alone does not suffice.

It can work, but we are still back to the fact that this won't fit some
people's speech habits.  Stress patterns also differ considerably from
one language to the next.  

> >4) Designate a vowel as an 'extender' vowel, used only in unaccented
> >syllables and never elsewhere. Konya did this, in both versions. A
> >word couldn't end until an accented vowel was encountered (not
> >literally accented, but simply any vowel that wasn't the extender
> >vowel). Rick Morneau mentions this possibility in one of his shorter
> >monographs. Actually, he probably covers several of these options
> >there.
> Vowels are too precious to waste even one of them.

Is that why you have to "buy a vowel" on TV?  (I hate that show!)

> >7) Tone profile. For example, one-syllable morphemes have a level
> >profile, multisyllables go high-to-low in the first 
> syllable, maintain
> >low in the middle syllables, and climb back up low-to-high in the
> >final syllable. Subtle, but perhaps sufficient. Quite plausible.
> Too difficult to learn.

Agreed.  Teaching new tone patterns could take a long time and still
many will not be able to adjust well.  However using tone in conjunction
with other methods for redundancy wouldn't be a bad idea.

> >8) Fixed-length morphemes. Always one or always two syllables, say.
> >Difficult to adapt foreign terms and can sound monotonous, but there
> >are natlangs that are heavily monosyllabic or heavily 
> bisyllabic. Tunu
> >uses this approach.
> It would be difficult to distinguish the
> one-syllable words from the two-syllable words.

It depends on the morphology involved.  Let's suppose certain phonemes
are only used in certain positions, or maybe even pronounced differently
depending on position.  For example, intervocalic stops and fricatives
could be voiced where they would normally not be.  The use of voice
indicating a continuation of the morpheme.  

Dana Nutter

The Demos Project