This is close to how I'm doing consonant gradation in Kišta. It has regular
initial stress and the words are divided into feet two or three syllables
long each bearing secondary stress on its initial syllable. Generally a
word will start with bisyllabic feet and in case it has an odd number of
syllables end in a trisyllabic one (the final syllable can never bear
stress) but words with initial trisyllabic feet occur as well. The medial
consonants preceding the foot final vowel are lengthened unless the foot
ends with a closed syllable,

malla ~ malak
"eye" ~ "eye.ACC"

Trisyllabic feet behave the same but here the first foot medial consonants
experience compensatory lengthening if the second foot medial consonants
are left short,

malalli ~ mallalik
"eye pair" ~ "eye pair.ACC"

Frankly, this is closer to Saamic gradation but it works fine in any case.


2014-06-14 18:45 GMT-07:00 Dirk Elzinga <[log in to unmask]>:

> On Fri, Jun 13, 2014 at 5:30 PM, Eric Christopherson <[log in to unmask]>
> wrote:
> > Or maybe it could be stress-timed -- would that mean that the affected
> > onsets might occur e.g. in every second syllable? That would be pretty
> > interesting. (But I've always thought of the language as lacking phonemic
> > accent at an early stage and developing pitch accent later, never going
> > through stress accent.)
> >
> I was scanning the thread looking for something along these lines. General
> American English has lenition of /t/ and /d/ in foot medial position (to
> [ɾ]), which is pretty much the equivalent of "stress timed" in your
> typology. I don't know if Finnic gradation can be recast in those terms,
> but it might be worth looking into. And even if it can't, you certainly
> could give it a try; I think the effect would be vaguely Finnic.
> Dirk