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On Tue, Oct 20, 2009 at 5:56 AM, Philip Newton <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> On Tue, Oct 20, 2009 at 08:39, Craig Daniel <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> I'm currently spelling /ts/ as <tz>, with <z> otherwise representing a
>> sound whose phonetic value I am undecided on - it's from MHG <sz>,
>> which represents some sort of /s/-like sound derived from
>> proto-Germanic *t.
>
> Ah, the curious apical-vs-laminal-(or-whatever-the-distinction-was)
> thing in older German.
>
>> The
>> other affricate present is of course /pf/
>
> Why "of course" only one other affricate? It would be more symmetric
> to have affricates at all three main POAs, i.e. to add /kx/, and
> indeed there are varieties of German (particularly in the south) which
> have that, too.

Not of course only one, so much as of course there is a /pf/. As for
why no /kx/, the answer is because MHG doesn't have one - for some
reason it seems to lack the k>kch, b>p, and g>k changes in the High
German consonant shift. Thus we have MHG kint "child" > German kind,
Ruiten kit, but which Wikipedia tells me corresponds to Bavarian
kchind. This implies to me that Bavarian diverged from standard German
before Ruiten (my conlang) did.

> Which reminds me, do you merge *<ei> and *<î> as standard German does,
> or do you keep them separate (as e.g. Bavarian does)?

I instead merge MHG <ei> /ei/ and <ệ> /e:/, spelling both of them as
<ei> when it follows a consonant. This orthography is slightly
surprising, however, as one of the characteristic sound changes I have
is a breaking of all the MHG long vowels, giving <ei> the
pronunciation /ja/; in some strong verbs this alternates with <je>
/je/ (< MHG <î> /i:/).

>> Hm. It occurs to me that another way to do it would actually be to use
>> <ck> for /k:/ that is retained from MHG (which generally spells it
>> thus) and use <kk> for innovative /k:/, thereby contrasting eg. decken
>> "to cover" (< MHG decken) with dekken "to think" (< MHG denken) in
>> writing. (I'm already maintaining the orthographic ä despite its
>> merger with either a or e depending on context, so similar archaisms
>> are not out of place.)
>
> An interesting approach - and why not indeed?
>
> (I wonder whether the situation in German <f> vs. <v> in native words
> is similar? I don't know enough about the history of German to tell.
> But there again, you have two letters for the same sound, /f/ --
> "fiel" [(he) fell] and "viel" [much] are identical and you have to
> learn which is spelled how.)

The MHG dictionary I found online alphabetizes both letters under <v>
and gives an awful lot of words as able to be spelled either way, eg.
<fliegen, vliegen> for "to fly."

 - CBD