On Tue, 3 Jul 2007 14:49:59 +0100, R A Brown wrote:

> Jörg Rhiemeier wrote:
> [Plan B]
> >>It most certainly has 16 consonant phonemes. Whether it has 8 or 16 
> >>vowel phonemes is a matter of interpretation. If phonemic status is 
> >>given to /r/, then we have 8 vowel phonemes plus 8 combos of /r/ plus a 
> >>vowel. The rule is then that syllables must be of the form: C(r)V(C)
> > 
> > 
> > I did not remember that the "16 vowels" included 8 /r/+vowel combos.
> > I'd say that /r/ is a phoneme, so there are 17 consonants, one of them
> > being /r/ that patterns fundamentally different than the other 16, and
> > 8 vowels.
> Yep - I think in summary if describing Plan B _phonologically_ one would 
> say that it has:
> - sixteen consonants that function at syllable boundaries, i.e. /p t k b 
> d g f T s S v D z Z m n/
> - eight vowels, namely /i: I ej E aj A ow u:/ *
> - a 'glide', namely /r/ (alveolar approximant) which can occur only 
> between a consonant and vowel.


> *it will be seen that the 'vowels' contain diphthongs as well as simple 
> vowels, so one could derive different _phonemic_ analysis, e.g. the 
> first six above could be analyzed as /ij/, /i/, /ej/, /e/, /aj/, /a/ - 
> that is as three simple vowels plus three diphthongs with /j/. But that 
> would then leave /ow/ and /uw/ a bit anomalous.

These obviously contain another consonant, /w/, that doesn't occur
elsewhere.  Strange, but after all it is a strange language.
>  > [hexadecimal digits]
>  >
>  > Yes.  That would not really look like a pronounceable *language*,
>  > but Prothero's sequences of consonants of which every other is
>  > to be pronounced as a (seemingly) unrelated vowel doesn't, either.
> Quite so. His use of traditionally consonant symbols is IMO unhelpful in 
> that sometimes they are pronounced with sounds associated with those 
> symbols (tho pronouncing _h_ as /T/ and _l_ as /D/ is a bit strange), 


> but at other times they are pronounced as vowels or diphthongs. It is 
> just plain crazy IMO to pronounce _c_ as /ej/ and _d_ as /I/.

Rightly said.  This is indeed just plain crazy.

> At least if they were the hex digits it is a tad more obvious that the 
> symbols map to quartets of bits and that they will unusual rules of 
> pronunciation.

>  > (Nor does the all-consonant orthography of X-1, I have to admit.)
> At least the consonants keep values which are consonantal and similar to 
> their traditional pronunciation in most languages. It is just that built 
> into the system is a method of determining the unwritten vowels.

Yes - that's exactly what is going on there.

> Yes, I know that using only consonant symbols in the orthography might 
> lead to the naive assumption that the language is vowel-less. But that 
> really is a naive assumption. Well might just as well claim that any 
> language written with an abjad, e.g. Arabic or Hebrew, is vowel-less!

I remember reading somewhere that the Greek "invented vowels" :)

> [...]
> > It is a well-known (to me) mistake of mine to start all sorts of
> > projects even though I have enough to do already, most of which
> > soon fall by the wayside.  And X-1 is one of those projects.
> Oh - I do still intend to complete my 'experimental loglang' sometime - 
> if only to discover what its name is    :)

I also intend to continue my work on X-1, it is just put on the
back burner right now.

> [snip]
> >>>and that the orthography was phonemic; but it is probably more
> >>>reasonable to analyse it as having 7 consonant phonemes /p t k s m n l/
> >>>and 4 vowel phonemes /E i O u/.
> >>
> >>Basically I agree, tho I think I would include the 'zero consonant' as a 
> >>phoneme, i.e. 8 consonant phonemes. This simplifies the rule that all 
> >>syllables must be of the type CV
> > 
> > 
> > That's a legitimate analysis, though I'd avoid it - I am not all that
> > comfortable with zero phonemes.
> The so-called 'zero consonant' of my experimental Conlang can be [j] 
> before front vowels or [w] before back vowels, i.e. it does have 
> phonetically realized allophones, so I think it is legitimate to refer 
> to it as a phoneme. However, in my latest revision I have given it the 
> phonemic symbol /ɰ/ and it may be:
> - a velar approximant in any position;
> - a palatal approximant before front vowels;
> - a labiovelar approximant before back vowels;
> - silent.

True.  If it has non-zero allophones, it is not a zero phoneme.
One could argue for a zero phoneme in X-1 for sake of symmetry,
but I don't feel like that.  There are no consonantal segments
in the pronunciations of |h| or |j|.  On the other hand, they
*do* influence the vowel in that syllable.  But a "zero phoneme"?
X-1 is simply not spelled phonemically.

(As opposed to a zero phoneme, a zero *string of phonemes* makes
perfect sense, and plays an important role in formal language

> [phonetics != phonology != orthography]
> >>Didn't we discuss this on the Conlang list in February this year?
> There was a "Why consonants" thread.

Yes, I have found it.

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