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Questions tagged [phonology]

For questions about the sound systems of languages

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2answers
60 views

What's the purpose of vowels and consonants?

Other than making words easier to pronounce, is there any purpose to having the letters divided like this? Should they or a similar concept be added to a constructed language?
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2answers
81 views

Adding entire musical concepts to expand vocabulary

I want my language, Syn, to be as precise, efficient, unambiguous, and aesthetic as humanely possible. To do that, I think even the texture, dynamics, rhythm, and the likes should be accounted for. ...
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1answer
100 views

What are the reasons behind ROILA's phonology?

ROILA (RObot Interaction LAnguage), a constructed language for communication between robots and between robots and humans, comes with a 5 vowel system. the vowels are written a e i o u but their sound ...
3
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1answer
94 views

What language uses the most amount of phonemes?

I'm constructing an auxlang/artlang (temporarily named Syn). The Syn is (being) designed to interface with any known human language, with a wildly uniform set of simplistic, unambiguous symbols. I ...
6
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3answers
132 views

What reasons would there be for not having a human conlang with only vowels?

All natlangs have both consonants and vowels, but it's not immediately obvious why a human language couldn't be made from only vowels. Has anyone theorised about why natlangs always have consonants? ...
5
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2answers
90 views

Designing a mildly weird phonology

I want to design a mildly weird phonology with the following features Not particularly difficult to pronounce for speakers of average European languages Feeling somewhat unnatural or weird The ...
5
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3answers
75 views

What are sounds that I have to include in my phonology for it to be naturalistic?

Additionally, are there any such things as hierarchies, where if I want to include one sound, I should also include another?
9
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1answer
648 views

What do double consonants specify in Esperanto?

The Esperanto word for 'Finland' is Finnlando. What does the doubled consonant specify? The Esperanto alphabet is phonemic. Why are there two consonants? Is it gemination (which doesn't appear often ...
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4answers
145 views

Could a language with no voiced fricatives exist?

I am working on a language and I am trying to bring it down to seventeen consonants. One of the ways I am trying to do that is by removing all voiced fricatives. Is this even reasonable?
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3answers
216 views

Why do I have such a problem with my conlangs being ugly? [closed]

This is a perpetual problem I have and I find it quite annoying. Yes, I know its kinda subjective, but that doesn't change the fact that, to me at least, my conlangs are always hideous. For a recent ...
12
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3answers
191 views

Consider an isolated, close-knit community; which characteristics is their language likely to have?

For the sake of concreteness, let's say my low-tech conculture is living in a few villages on a smallish island in the middle of the ocean (Pitcairn Islands comes to mind). Basically, this would ...
12
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4answers
89 views

Can features in the physical environment meaningfully affect the development of a local language's phonology?

Imagine that I'm creating phonemic inventories for multiple conlangs, each of which is spoken by a people settled within (or roaming about) a very different physical environment from the others. ...
3
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1answer
91 views

How do you pronounce the “:” in Wede:i?

Looking at the zompist page for Wede:i, I don't see any instructions on how to pronounce the ":" that we see in the name of the language and other places. Am I missing something? How are you supposed ...
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3answers
111 views

What is an overview of sound changes?

One of my works-in-progress is a language called Proto-Oreadin. As the name suggests, it is a proto-language, which eventually I am hoping to expand into a family of languages. Currently I have a ...
5
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3answers
131 views

What is the key to realistic inventories [closed]

Shy of simply recreating or stitching together natural languages' phonological inventories, what is the solution for making a naturalistic conlangs' inventory naturalistic?
10
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1answer
162 views

How do tones disappear from a language?

There have been many good writeups on Tonogenesis, i.e. how language acquire tones. But never have I seen such a writeup on the opposite phenomenon, which one might call Tonoexodus. Obviously, one way ...
23
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5answers
379 views

Are there conlangs using constructed sounds?

Usually, constructed languages of all kind (naturalistic or not) draw their sounds from existing natural languages. Are there conlangs with constructed sounds, i.e., sounds that do not occur in ...
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3answers
110 views

How could a syllabary be adapted for a language with a complex syllable structure?

By definition, a syllabary has separate glyphs for each possible syllable (and usually unrelated or at least not systematically related ones for similar syllables, unlike alphasyllabaries). This ...
10
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0answers
84 views

How can we define words? [closed]

Even though the question seems trivial, it's still a hotly debated topic (as far as I'm aware). For example, in the Oxford Handbook for Polysynthesis, Fernando Zúñiga says: Recent literature (e.g. ...