I've talked about a lot of things! What specifically do you want an example of? Or do you want me to go through a single case study language, or some such thing? On 2018/04/25 15:22, Space Unicorn J wrote: > Do you have any examples? > > <[log in to unmask]> > >> Syllable structure is actually a fascinating and complex topic; one >> which I'm sure I don't fully understand. (I mostly work with CV(V) >> structures in my own languages!) I'll try and summarise a bit of what I >> remember about it - and hopefully write something that's useful to >> conlangers of all levels. >> >> Syllable structure is, in short, what is allowed in a syllable, and >> where. It's typically schematised as a series of capital letters, where >> C means 'a consonant', V means 'a vowel', and parentheses indicate >> optionality. However, there's much, much more complexity than a simple >> statement such as 'this language allows (C)(C)V(V)(C)' would imply. For >> a brand new conlanger, that's about as far as you need to go, though - >> knowing to schematise it and fit your words to these structures, and >> further knowing that you mostly need a vowel or something acting like >> one in every syllable, is quite enough for a simple conlang. >> >> You can go much farther than that, though. >> >> At its most basic, a syllable is divided into two parts - an /onset/ and >> a /rime/. The onset is everything before the vowel; the rime is the >> vowel and everything after it. The rime is further divisible into the >> /nucleus/, which is the vowel or whatever's acting kind of like one, and >> the /coda/, which is the consonants following the vowel. Every syllable >> at minimum needs a nucleus, though it doesn't necessarily need a vowel >> to be the nucleus - see English 'doesn't' /dɜz.nt/, which has /n/ as its >> second syllable's nucleus. >> >> Typically - with a few exceptions - syllables are organised by what's >> called /sonority/, which is basically the perceptual salience or >> 'loudness' of sounds. The nucleus is the sonority peak, and sonority >> falls off towards the edges - indeed, in some theories, a syllable is >> explicitly defined as being the space between sonority low points. The >> sonority hierarchy is largely this, from most to least: >> - Vowels >> - Sonorant consonants (liquids and nasals) >> - Voiced fricatives >> - Voiceless fricatives >> - Stops >> Languages can vary on how far down the hierarchy a nucleus can be - some >> languages only allow vowels, English allows vowels and sonorants, and a >> couple Berber languages are famous for apparently allowing all the way >> down to stops. Within complex onsets and codas - again with a few >> exceptions - consonants are expected to become more sonorant closer to >> the nucleus. For example, the English word /trend/ exemplifies this - >> /t/ is less sonorous than /ɹ/, and /n/ is more sonorous than /d/. The >> biggest exceptions to this generalisation are /s z/ (and other coronal >> sibilants), which seem to be allowed outside lower-sonority consonants >> on both ends in quite a few languages, English being one - /strand/ is >> perfectly valid, even though the /s/ occurs outside the less-sonorous >> /t/. In some languages, word edges may allow for /extrasyllabic/ >> consonants, which don't quite fit in a syllable - this allows for >> English words like 'act' with two stops in a row, which would be invalid >> inside a word without the /t/ becoming the onset of the next syllable. >> >> Sometimes the string of sounds provided by building a word from >> morphemes has sequences that can't be syllabified - for example, if you >> only allow CV and you get a word with two consonants in a row, you have >> a problem. This is where things like epenthesis come in - sounds can be >> added in phonologically to help make things work out right. You might >> find that a disallowed CC sequence is broken up by having a 'default' >> vowel like /a/ or /ə/ inserted between the two consonants, or that it's >> broken up by inserting a copy of a neighbouring vowel. Other repair >> strategies involve just deleting one of the consonants, or having them >> merge somehow (eg have /nt/ become /d/, with /n/'s voicing but /t/'s >> stop-ness). >> >> We often talk of syllables as having /weight/, which mostly means the >> amount of stuff put into the rime. Weight is typically quantified into >> units called /morae/, which are (basically) a measure of the time it >> takes to say a certain syllable. Typically, one V or CV (or CCV etc) >> syllable is one mora; (C)VV and (C)VC are two morae, and (C)VVC is >> three; though exactly how things are counted can vary by language, and >> many languages distinguish between one ('light') and more-than-one >> ('heavy') and don't really care about exactly how many. Codas with more >> than one consonant may or may not count for more morae than the simple >> presence of a coda would add. >> >> Weight is relevant in several ways. First, languages can have maximum >> syllable weights. For example, a language may allow (C)VV and (C)VC but >> not (C)VVC, even though it does "have phonemic vowel length" - you can't >> simply switch out a short vowel for a long vowel or diphthong, because >> long vowels and diphthongs are associated with more structural positions >> than a short vowel is. You may also find position-based weight >> restrictions - for example, the last syllable of any word may be >> prohibited from being heavy; or it may allow an extrasyllabic consonant, >> as in Arabic, which allows (C)VVC only word-finally and nowhere else. >> Second, weight has various prosodic consequences. In a language with >> phonemic tone, a heavy syllable - especially one with a complex nucleus >> rather than just a coda - provides more morae for tones to attach to, >> and contour tones may require or cause a vowel to be long to fit all the >> parts of the tone. In a language with phonemic stress, stress tends to >> correlate with weight, and the language might have rules about heavy >> syllables attracting stress (Latin's stress rule works this way), or >> stressed syllables acquiring weight (one analysis has Norwegian and >> Swedish doing this). Since stress (including secondary stress) tends to >> proceed on an alternating stressed-unstressed-stressed-etc pattern, the >> syllables between stresses (again, including secondary stress) may be >> obligatorily light - or heavy syllables may cause deviations from the >> alternating pattern (as seems to happen in English). >> >> Going further down the rabbit hole (and this is the part I suggest >> beginning conlangers really stop before), you can begin to explore >> restrictions on what consonants can occur where in a syllable. For >> example, codas may lose voicing distinctions, or onsets may restrict the >> combinations of certain sounds. Autosegmental phonology explains this >> through the concept of 'feature licensing', where phonemic features are >> assigned to the syllable as a whole, and codas may license additional >> features. My conlang Emihtazuu only licenses nasality as a coda feature, >> which means that codas can only be a nasal with no place specification >> (which it has to get from a following stop) or a default consonant /h/. >> This is used to explain why English allows /tr/ as an onset but not /tl/ >> - the /l/ requires a laterality specification that apparently can't >> coöccur with /t/ (but can with /p k/). >> >> /Even/ further down the rabbit hole starts to get into things like the >> autosegmental concept of 'timing tier' / 'skeletal tier', and things >> like vowels attaching to consonant slots, or stranger things like >> consonant slots that are empty but still demonstrably there, and some >> yet stranger things. If you want to know more about those, just go read >> the book (John Goldsmith's /Autosegmental and Metrical Phonology/) - >> it's worth every cent you'll spend on it. >> >> I hope that's not overwhelmingly much information! Ignore as much of >> this as you feel you need to, and just come back to it as you gain more >> familiarity with linguistic concepts. >> >> >> On 2018/04/24 21:57, Space Unicorn J wrote: >>> This is simple, I know a little about this but I wanted to know if >> someone >>> could help me to understand Syllable Structure and tell me some tips and >>> that, I think it’s a very interesting topic. >>> >>> I would like to know how to use this and examples of natural languages >> and >>> your Conlangs!!! >>> >>> Thx.