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Antony Alexander wrote:
> That's not actually the issue Jens was referring to but
> I'll respond to it anyway, since it sometimes comes up here.
>
> A lowest common denominator phonology for the IAL
> would be hopelessly impractical!
>
> Even five vowels would be too many. There are languages
> with four, and at least three languages (Greenlandic, Aranda -
> an Australian language, Amuesha - an Andean language)
> have three (and someone once mentioned one with two).
>
> With consonants there are of course a large number of
> languages with less than twenty, and Rotokas, an Indo-
> Pacific tongue, has only six!

It would be interesting to take the lowest common denominator phonology
from for example the 10 most widely spoken languages of the world. Also
some threshold could be applied, such as 8/10, in order to prevent the
phoneme inventory becoming too small.

-- Risto Kupsala