Difference between revisions of "C phonology"

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m (Vowels: copyedit)
(Consonants: updated to take into account analysis of one phonemic vowel per root word)
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== Consonants ==
 
== Consonants ==
  
C words must start with a consonant, even if it is a glottal stop. A lone voiceless consonant is pronounced with aspiration, but a lone /t/ followed by unaccented /i/ becomes /ts/ instead. A final consonant cluster in a word devoices.
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C words must start with a consonant, even if it is a glottal stop.
 +
A lone voiceless consonant is pronounced with aspiration, but /tj/ becomes [tsɪ] in dialects with epenthetic vowels.
 +
A final obstruent consonant (or cluster thereof) in a word devoices.
  
 
/taud/ => [thʌot]
 
/taud/ => [thʌot]
/'uati/ => [uətsɪ]
+
/uati/ => ['uətsɪ]
  
 
In C, /x/ has fallen into /f/.
 
In C, /x/ has fallen into /f/.

Revision as of 20:28, 2 February 2010

The Noeneg language is called "C" by scouts because it tends toward a more consonant-heavy mix of sounds than "V". In some ways, it resembles Netherlandish (aka Dutch).

Vowels

Like Arabic, C has three vowels, but one would be fooled by the diphthongs. Most C roots have closed syllables with a C?CVCC? structure, but inflections can turn the V into VV. For example, one plural pattern adds /i/ before the last vowel.

  • /a/ => [ɐ]
    • /aa/ => [ɑ]
    • /ai/ => [eɪ]
    • /au/ => [ʌo]
  • /i/ => [ɪ]
    • /ia/ => [iə]
    • /ii/ => [æɪ]
    • /iu/ => [ɪy]
  • /u/ => [ʊ]
    • /ua/ => [uə]
    • /ui/ => [oɪ]
    • /uu/ => [u:]

Because C is far more tolerant of clusters, words in C tend to have more of their vowels reduced to null compared to their V cognates. Compare the English doublet anxiety/angst.

In fact, each word has only one phonemic vowel or diphthong. Suffixes tend to form long strings of consonants with no phonemic vowels; instead, syllable nuclei end up on whatever halfway sonorant nasals or fricatives are in the way. In some areas, clusters like those of the Salishan languages are commonplace. But as one heads south toward the border between V- and C-speaking areas, surface vowels begin to show up, such as voiced fricatives becoming [i] and [u] and epenthetic schwa showing up in various places. This can be seen in the name of C itself: phonemically /nuunf/ but realized as ['nu:n@f]. Speakers of the cluster-type dialects characterize these vowels as "baby talk".

Accent

First syllable of the root generally gets the accent.

Consonants

C words must start with a consonant, even if it is a glottal stop. A lone voiceless consonant is pronounced with aspiration, but /tj/ becomes [tsɪ] in dialects with epenthetic vowels. A final obstruent consonant (or cluster thereof) in a word devoices.

/taud/ => [thʌot] /uati/ => ['uətsɪ]

In C, /x/ has fallen into /f/.

Dialect issues

Some dialects of C retain the archaic pronunciation of /f/ as [x], reserving [f] for only those /f/ that come from inflections of /p/-family consonants. Some dialects of both V and C have a tendency to drop unaccented vowels: for instance, unaccented C /ti/ often shows up as [ts] instead of [tsi]. Some dialects of C have different diphthong rules.