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Inspired by some recent criticism of the difficulty pronouncing some IALs, I
have created Pitakosilano, a mock IAL whose overwhelming goal is ease of
pronounciation, regardless of the learner's native language.  The real-world
data that Pitakosilano is based on is UPSID (the *U*CLA *P*honological
*S*egment *I*nventory *D*atabase), which profiled the inventories of 317
languages, with one language selected from each family grouping recognized.
 
 
Vowels
 
Every language has three or more vowels, but only 94% of the languages in
the UPSID survey have more than three vowels.  So Pitakosilano has only
three vowels.  The three most common vowels are /i/, /u/ and /o/, but since
most three-vowel systems have /a/ are triangular systems with /a/, we will
go with /i/, /a/, /o/ as our vowel system.
 
 
Consonants
 
Stops - Over 99% of UPSID languages have bilabial, dental/alveolar and velar
stops.  Since voiceless segments outnumber voiced segments (92% vs 67%), we
will adopt /p/, /t/, /k/ [yes, Ray, I will use 'k' for /k/!] as our stops.
 
Fricatives -- 93% of the UPSID languages have at least one fricative.  While
this is a smaller percentage than desired, we will have a fricative.  About
83% of the languages have some form of /s/, so we will adopt /s/ as our
single fricative.
 
Nasals -- 97% of the languages have at least one nasal, and in 96% of these
cases it is voiced /n/.  So /n/ is our single nasal.
 
Liquids -- While 96% of languages have at least one liquid, only 72% have
more than one, so again we will confine ourselves to one example.  Since /l/
is somewhat more common than /r/, it will be our liquid.
 
Others -- Approximants (/j/ and /w/) occur in fewer than 95% of languages
and so will be excluded from Pitakosilano.  Glottalics are also too rare to
be included.
 
 
Syllable Pattern
 
The CV syllable pattern is the only universal syllable pattern, and is the
single syllable pattern used in Pitakosilano.  It allows 18 (C*V=6*3) types
of syllables.  It may seem limiting, but in fact there are over 100,000
three-syllable words and over 10,000,000 four-syllable words possible.
(There are 14E+39 six-syllable words such as Pitakosilano.)  So clearly, if
ease of pronunciation is the number one goal of any IAL, it is achievable
with Pitakosilano.
 
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Clearly, this was just created in fun.  Still, I was surprised at the
syllable pattern data.  I didn't expect to be able to form so many words
with such a limited phonetic inventory.
 
Best regards,
 
Jeffrey Henning
http://www.LangMaker.com/ - Invent Your Own Language
http://www.Jeffrey.Henning.com/ - Santa Paravia & Fiumaccio for Windows