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Sheets, Jeff wrote:

> > It's looks quite interesting, although I think I would personally hav=
e to
> > put more detailed study than just a few minutes to give a full answer=
 to that
> > question.  The phonology certainly seems to reinforce the feeling tha=
t these people
> are
> > very foreign from at least the English perspective.  But one thing I'=
m curious about:
> > have you considered making a distinctive series of aspirated consonan=
ts in contrast
> > to nonaspirated ones? That might fit in with the alienness of it, but=
 also
> > allow you a little more phonological freedom in which to work...
> >
> I'm not following you here.  What exactly do you mean by a distinctive
> series of aspirated consonants in contrast to nonaspirated ones?

Well, in English, whenever you pronounce a voiceless stop like /k/, if yo=
u
do it at the beginning of a syllable like in "cat", a brief extra puff of=
 air follows,
called aspiration.  In English, this extra puff doesn't make any differen=
ce (except
for making e.g. the difference between /k/ and /g/ slightly greater), but=
 in
many languages, e.g. Hindi, the difference between having the puff and no=
t
having the puff is as great as the difference between /k/ and /g/ in the =
minds
of the speakers.  For example, Hindi's set of (stop) consonants has:

p      t      k
ph    th    kh
b      d    g
bh    dh   gh  (<--- these are the socalled "voiced aspirates", very very=
 rare
                    as consonants go - only 6 modern languages have 'em)

So, I was thinking that since you said that voicing is difficult for your
aliens, having a series of aspirated consonants being distinct from non-
aspirated consonants would make it easier on you, in that you could make
more phonological distinctions than would be possible otherwise.

It's just an idea;  you don't have to follow up on it.


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Tom Wier <[log in to unmask]>
ICQ#: 4315704   AIM: Deuterotom
Website: <http://www.angelfire.com/tx/eclectorium/>
"Cogito ergo sum, sed credo ergo ero."

"S=F4=F0 is gecy=FEed / =FE=E6t mihtig God manna
cynes / w=EAold w=EEde-ferh=F0."
 _Beowulf_, ll. 700-702
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