> I would think the only "mouthy" of these four is /T/.

John Vertical:

>What? I could have sworn I typed / r\ /. Thanks for catching that, Patrick.
That doesn't seem to change the situation much. The usual velarization of
English /r\/ (which is *not* there by definition alone) could figure in, but
you don't consider /k/ throaty either, so…

>All I can say about /m/ vs /n/ is that it seems possible to concentrate /m/
>more forward than /n/ (which I didn't mention explicitly here is its
>companion in this system), but it is one that I'm having issues with
By that logic, wouldn't /b/ also be "mouthy"?

> Also, I would definitely understand contention over /N/ (paired
>with /?/) and /h/ (paired with /T/).
/N/ is the only one here that doesn't really fit.
So how does the mouthy/throaty distinction come up in practice, anyway?
Maybe the labels are just throwing us off.

 Alex Fink:

> If I read between the lines right, what underlies the mouthy / throaty
> distinction is a certain pairing off of the phonemes; each pair has to have
> one mouthy and one throaty member.  The pairs for obstruents are voice
> pairs, and throatiness aligns with voice.  But sonorants (as well as a few
> spinster obstruents) have no voice contrast, and so their pairs are just
> made in an entirely different way, /m/ with /n/ and /r\/ with /l/, and the
> "mouthy" and "throaty" are an artifice to make one member of each of those
> pairs, effectively, phonologically unvoiced.
> De gustibus disputandum non est, but I've come across this sort of zealous
> pairing off before in conorthographies for English and the like, where the
> need to have similar pairs seems to take precedence over what the actual
> reality of the features involved are -- obstruents by voice, but then
> always
> /mn/ and /rl/ -- and I do not at all like it.
> AFMCL, in the English code in the gripping language, the fact that finger
> phonemes have a binary opposition compelled us to do something like this.
> But the pairs I chose were /pb td kg fv Tl sz Sj mw nr hN/, which at least
> have general place of articulation constant in the pairs (the /mn lr/ way
> would have have preserved manner instead, but other pairs would then have
> to
> break manner).

What you say is mostly true, Alex, the pairing does affect the way these
have been classified, and the characteristics of whatever sounds are adopted
are more fixed than perhaps the currently noted phones themselves. A couple
of guidelines to selections were these:

*Consonants and vowels should "generally be similarly low in energy, time,
and vocal action" required to articulate them (e.g. no ejectives) and work
as initial, final, or internal sound in usual words (although /N/ has a
somewhat special function).

*No sounds were allowed that could be "well enough" approximated with
another sound, so that /I/ was used in place of initial /j/, and /U/ in
place of initial /w/. If a phoneme could be approximated with a dipthong,
then the time duration of the sound and my own aesthetic sense were
considered, so that /@U/ is not a common replacement for /O/, but /A@/ is
the only way to approximate [O] (which doesn't normally exist here). In
total, there are ten vowels: /i I e E & A ^ o U u/.

As of now, the vowels associate with human sense organs: touch-voluntary
(musculoskeleton), touch (skin), visual-voluntary (eyelid/eye muscles),
visual (eyeball), olfactory (nose), aural (ear), mental perception (sensory
integration), mental perception-voluntary (focused thought and memory),
taste (mouth and tongue), breathing and ingestion (throat). "/i/-based sound
segments" represent concentrated touch, and "/u/-based sounds segments"
represent spreading such as of fluids or thoughts.

It may be that certain consonant pairs are a priori considered to have more
of an association with a certain "overall placement", and hence their
mouthy/throaty characteristics are mostly important in distinguishing the
sounds in the pair. Sorry if this wasn't made clear on-list in the

However, it is also true that mouthiness/throatiness is a different
distinction from place and manner of articulation. It involves a more
holistic evaluation of the locations of vibrations, airflows, frictions,
muscle tension, tongue movement, etc. That doesn't make it terribly easy to
define precisely, it would seem.

I am not a linguist, so I appreciate anyone taking the time to help me get
straight on points I am likely missing, or even to make mistakes here with
me. I do feel, however, that things generally sound "okay" in this system,
because this initially developed out of a very "minimal" speech synthesizer
program I wrote to render recognizable English.

(I'm placing quotation marks around certain words in hopes that only
unsharpened stones will be flung :-) - j/k, thoughts are appreciated.)