On Sat, 24 Feb 2018 06:21:07 +1100 A Walker Scott <[log in to unmask]> wrote: > I know that three-vowle systems ar epretty common, but how weird is > it for those three vowels to be /i/, /ɛ/ and /ɐ/ (or /a/)? You get a "vertical" system in the NW Caucasian languages: Abkhaz: ə a Abaza & Kabard (Circassian): ɨ ə a Ubykh: ə a (although some say Circassian also only has 2 vowels. Elsewhere, there's Margi (Chadic): ɨ a E. Arrernte (Australian): ə a The transcription conventions are all over the place: the two vowel systems should really be /ɨ a/ and some people have written "e" for /ə/. The allophones are very variable, with Arrernte having /kɨ/ [ki] /kʷɨ/ [kʊ, kɨ, ka/] !! /ṯɨ/ [ṯæ] laminal alveolar t /tɨ/ [tə] apical dental t That's just 6 languages, and one (Ubykh) is now extinct!