Print

Print


I'm tinkering with Celimine again, and thought it might be nice to get
some feedback on the broad outlines of its diachronic phonology.

The consonants in Proto-C have a palatalized / velarized distinction,
similar to Irish or Russian (although not every consonants in the
"palatalized" is actually phonetically palatalized, and not every
consonant in the velarized set is actually phonetically velarized).

The inventory as currently envisioned is as follows:

Palatal  ~  Velar

Plosives:
pʲ  bʲ ~ p  b
tʲ  dʲ ~ t  d
c ɟ ~ k  g

Nasals:
mʲ ~ m
ɲ ~ n
ŋʲ ~ ŋ

Fricatives:
fʲ  vʲ ~ f  v
z ~ ʂ

Approximants:
ɹʲ ~ ɹ
l ~ ɫ

I figure at an even earlier stage, /ʂ/ developed from an unvoiced
version of /ɹ/, and then got re-analyzed to pair up with its fellow
sibilant /z/ instead. Or perhaps it came about as a merger of /ɹ/ and
/z/, or something like that.

Meanwhile, there is a vertical four-vowel system, attested in natlangs
in Marshallese:

/ɨ/
/ɘ/
/ɜ/
/a/

Like Marshallese, there's a bunch of allophony, but the details are
different. Basically, neighboring a palatal consonant triggers
fronting, and neighboring a velar consonant triggers backing, while
getting sandwiched in between the two results in front-back
diphthongs.

So, how does that look as far as plausibility for a natural phonemic inventory?


The sound changes that produce the modern Celimine phonemic inventory
involve a process of displaced contrast that collapses the
palatal/velar distinction in consonants and splits the vowels into an
8-vowel system with front/back harmony, and a process of intervocalic
lenition that introduces a bunch of new fricatives and approximants,
resulting in these modern inventories:

Vowels:
/i/ /u/
/ɪ/ /ʊ/
/e/ /o/
/ɛ/ /ɑ/

Stops:
p b
t d
k g

Nasals:
m
n
ŋ

Fricatives:
f v
θ  ð
s z
x  ɣ
h

Approximants:
w
j
r
l

and the proto-C inventory is basically reverse-engineered to produce
the originally a-priori vowel harmony and this phonemic consonant
inventory, along with vowel-conditioned consonant allophony like /s/
-> [s],[ʂ], /g/ -> [g], [ɟ], with a reasonable, realistic set of sound
changes.

-l.