Questions tagged [phonology]

For questions about the sound systems of languages

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Should non-sibilant fricatives be treated like plosives or fricatives?

I don't like ending my words with plosives, because my native language tends to not audibly pronounce them. I prefer to stick to fricatives and nasals for codas. However, I'm unsure where non-sibilant ...
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2 votes
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Is it natural to declare laterals and rhotics as a fortis/lenis pair?

I've sought for justification for the phoneme inventory of my conlang, but finally, I think I found one, at least for consonants. 순음 Labial 설음 Coronal 반설음 "Semi-coronal" 치두음 Front Sibilant ...
Dannyu NDos's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
168 views

I am constructing my own language and I need one more consonant [closed]

I am constructing my own language and I need one more consonant other than BCChDDz, FGHJK, LLyMNNy, PRSShT, and VYZZh. C is Ts, Ch is as in China, Dz is Italian soft J/G, J is Dy/Dj/DZh W is too ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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Vowel Breaking Sound Change

I find breaking to be an interesting sound change which I haven't used much before, and I'm trying to figure out when it would most commonly occur. My understanding is that it would be prone to happen ...
Cheelin's user avatar
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What sounds work best for an underwater language spoken by crab people?

Currently I am working on a species of crab people who live semi-aquatic life styles, and I would like their languages to do two things: Be easy to understand underwater Be based somewhat on their ...
Noah Fuque's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
90 views

Is there any conlang where syllables are inverse to word frequency?

Is there any conlang where the more common words are shorter, and the more syllables a word has, the rarer (in terms of occurrence) it is?
Julius Hamilton's user avatar
3 votes
0 answers
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What would a language created by anthropomorphic and humanoid dogs look like?

I imagined a language created by anthropomorphic and humanoid dogs. The following phonemes are: The simple vowels are: /a/ as in French adolescent (which naturally means adolescent), /ɶ/ as in ...
mammifereviolet4694's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
156 views

Can you help me write some phonological rules for my conlang?

To be more precise, I'm referring to the writing process that goes, for example, from "/m/ becomes [ɱ] before /f/ or /v/ or before a word boundary followed by /f/ or /v/ " to "/m/ > [...
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2 votes
0 answers
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Phonetics and Phonotactics critique?

Could you help me with a conlang idea I had? I want to make a language that has a solid amount of phonemes so I don't have to make words too long (I want the language to he agglutinative, so there's ...
Victor BC's user avatar
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1 answer
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How do mora-timed languages work?

So I was researching a bit on different types of languages, mainly languages from Eastern Asia, because those seemed to have been very intriguing to me, when I came across Japanese. Now, here's what ...
CrSb0001's user avatar
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Is a language in which a person will not have rhotacism, neither lambdacism when speaking it realistic?

I imagined a language created by humans, not common humans (Homo sapiens), I mean a fictional species named tusked humans, commonly named orcs (their scientific name is Homo desertum) (which means ...
mammifereviolet4694's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
464 views

If I want my conlang's compound words not to exceed 3-4 syllables in length, what kind of phonology should my conlang have?

I've thought about using phonemic tones and permitting lots of clusters as ways of keeping my words short, but I don't want the syllables to be so heavy that every compound becomes a tongue-twister. ...
James Grossmann's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
74 views

Should I analyze these consonants as codas or onset clusters?

In my conlang, the proto-language had a CVR (R standing for a resonant) syllable structure and no voiced obstruents. Later, unstressed vowels were lost between voiceless obstruents (i.e. all ...
nearsighted's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
51 views

Are mora and syllable weight the same thing?

I'm researching syllable structures to learn better ways to construct words. I've come across mora and weight, and upon first glance they seem to describe the same thing in different words. Mora is ...
Ylahris's user avatar
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Is it plausible to set onsets and codas to be entirely different consonants?

Though I thought I confirmed the consonants of my conlang (ѲКМНПҀСТФЦЧШ), eventually, I found that I'm in disfavor of the syllable composition of CVC if the "C"s were meant to be arbitrary ...
Dannyu NDos's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
107 views

What phonotactical constraints are commonly used by conlangers?

I'm continuing development of Der Spracherfinder (to help you fellow conlangers), and I want to know which phonotactical constraints are most common and helpful to conlangers. For example: forbid ...
Ylahris's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
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Technique to use lots of homonyms and not make things confusing in a conlang?

I just learned today really how prevalent homophones are in Chinese, some of which are listed here. I asked a similar question about how to say Chinese sentences using all the variations of meaning of ...
Lance's user avatar
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7 votes
1 answer
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Two different symbols representinɡ a phoneme

How would I represent multiple transliterations for one phoneme in a chart? I was thinking something like this: ⟨k~q⟩ /k/ It might work, though it doesn't make the most sense, and I would prefer to ...
CaptainYulef's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
188 views

What sounds would snake-people be able to pronouce?

The snake-people are humanoid creatures with snake-like traits: Their mouth and nose are longer than in humans. The tongue can work as in humans, but sits only in the front half of the jaw and is ...
Ichthys King's user avatar
4 votes
3 answers
210 views

Are there any languages with a vertical consonant distinction?

Are there any languages which distinguish consonants exclusively by manner of articulation instead of place of articulation and such, akin to a vertical vowel system?
Qaziquza's user avatar
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2 answers
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Why would a language created by humans lack both the /k/ and the /g/ consonants?

In my story, there is a species of aquatic humans often called merfolk (Homo maritimus, so they are still humans, just not Homo sapiens). They do not look the typical descriptions of merfolk (I want ...
mammifereviolet4694's user avatar
8 votes
2 answers
205 views

Creating a language for intelligent, sapient creatures that resemble large cats

In my world, there is a race of intelligent, sapient creatures that resemble large cats. They have fur, tails, and whiskers, and can purr and meow like regular cats, but they can also walk upright on ...
Jacob Valdez's user avatar
7 votes
2 answers
147 views

Why would a language created by humans lack the /j/ semivowel, and even the /i/ vowel?

What I mean is the sound /j/ (as in English yellow and French hyène 'hyena') is the most common semivowel around the world. This phoneme is highly conserved in Indo-European languages (this language ...
mammifereviolet4694's user avatar
8 votes
1 answer
446 views

How does one go about designing phonotactics for a conlang?

Most every conlanger has heard of phonotactics. However, I have yet to encounter resources about how should one go about the design of a conlang's phonotactics. How should one go about creating a ...
Qaziquza's user avatar
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3 votes
1 answer
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For a whistling language, what other keys could be used to represent tones/tone actions

I already have used ~,<,>,’,=,-,^, and v for trills, rising tones, falling tones, glottal stops, chord tones, neutral tones, rising/falling tone, and falling/rising tone. This language is ...
Blue Skin and Glowing Red Eyes's user avatar
8 votes
1 answer
83 views

phonology design for a nonhuman species

I'm working on an alien species for a fantasy-ish world I'm making, and I recently started on making a language for them. For the most part, their consonant-making abilities are very similar to humans,...
Zackbuildit777's user avatar
7 votes
4 answers
201 views

Do I need to start with a phonology when creating a new conlang?

The few conlangs I've read about/watched being developed in videos (such as those by Biblaridion) either started with phonology, or the description begins that way. Whether that's a representative ...
AncientSwordRage's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
61 views

Is lowering the tongue at word-ending a voiceless vowel?

In my conlang, some consonants can cluster with l at the end. For example, 'story' is 'coánl'; following dictionary.com's IPA for 'metal' as / ˈmɛt l / I had set out pronouncing this like /koˈa:n l/. ...
Vir's user avatar
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4 votes
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Are words based on acronyms treated differently when the language changes over time?

Do sound and grammar changes affect acronyms, that can be pronounced as words, differently than other words in a language? Are words based on acronyms treated differently or not when sound/grammar ...
EveryBitHelps's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
108 views

Is it possible to have consonant followed by Uvular sound

I am thinking of creating a language that has a sound system a little similar to Latin, with a guttural feel like German. The people who are going to speak this language are harsh and sound annoyed at ...
Momobear's user avatar
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5 votes
1 answer
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Setting a signature Phonetics

A year ago, I became fascinated by conlanging. So I set out to create one for my soon-to-be-completed world, but no matter what I came up with, the words sounded like English. It feels like I am just ...
Momobear's user avatar
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6 votes
1 answer
158 views

Could a language with only fricatives at the end of words reasonably exist?

There are several non-constructed languages, including English, in which almost all words end in consonants, but what about a language in which almost all words end in a certain type of consonant? In ...
Why It's user avatar
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6 votes
1 answer
133 views

Is there a set of sound change rules that undoes Grimm's law?

Zompist has a Sound Change Applier that comes with some example rules: [sm]//_# i/j/_V L/V/_ e//Vr_# v//V_V u/o/_# gn/nh/_ S/Z/V_V c/i/F_t c/u/B_t p//V_t ii/i/_ e//C_rV Is ...
AncientSwordRage's user avatar
7 votes
2 answers
185 views

Would a "Common Denominator" phonology be too simple (or even non-existent)?

Many languages have sounds that are very hard to pronounce to certain speakers. For example, the French "R" sound is hard for English speakers. What if we have a language that accepts many ...
brendt's user avatar
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4 votes
2 answers
112 views

Considering that my elves are anatomically different from humans, what sorts of phonemes, vowels and consonants could they be capable of speaking?

For years now, I've been building and rebuilding an alternate Earth dense with geography, geology and wildlife. Among them is this world's equivalent of humans, Draculodon silvius, the "elf"...
JohnWDailey's user avatar
7 votes
1 answer
70 views

In compound words/suffixed words, does the stress change?

I'm creating a language where the stress is on the third to last syllable and I have a sound change where an unstressed short vowel at the beginning of a word is deleted. (so in 'a.ta.ra. the word vs ...
user3563's user avatar
8 votes
1 answer
186 views

Are there conlangs designed to be whispered?

We all know that natural languages can be whispered and we use whispering for several purposes, e.g., to avoid someone unwanted listening, or in order not to disturb a larger audience. But are there ...
Sir Cornflakes's user avatar
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5 votes
1 answer
232 views

Syllabic restriction/word boundaries set by IPA? Or it is decided by language creator

When creating syllables we basically require an onset, nucleus, and a coda. Now, usually, all language have an onset, and the coda is fairly optional. Before creating a phonetic system, we first ...
Momobear's user avatar
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5 votes
3 answers
376 views

Is there any general rule for constructing a word? Example: "q" or "w" should not end a word, something like this

I am developing 4 conlangs (sparish, old sparish, elvian and barrish (need a new name)) for a story which is used by humans of Spar, Northern Sparian, Elves/Aspian, Barrians of south respectively. I ...
Momobear's user avatar
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5 votes
3 answers
209 views

Which character is best to use for a schwa? Ь or Ъ?

Cyrillic for English - (Сарилик фоьр Иңглиш) is an adapted Cyrillic orthography to write English using ь as schwa, so 'sofa' would be written 'соьфь'. Does ь make sense as a schwa or is ъ better? The ...
jastako's user avatar
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7 votes
5 answers
406 views

Strategies for dealing with limited/simple phonologies

What problems arise when creating a language with an extremely simple phonology and what are some good strategies for dealing with them? I'm calling this type of phonology extremely simple for the ...
Greg Nisbet's user avatar
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4 votes
2 answers
144 views

How do you determine a New Letter's sound?

I'm trying to create a new language, but I need some advice. How do you determine what a new letter sounds like? Is there a pattern, or do I just make it up?
Chris's user avatar
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2 votes
3 answers
145 views

How to distinguish [i] from [iː] in Cyrillic

Renglish/Рэнглиш (not mine) is an adaptation of Cyrillic for English. Most of the sounds seem ok, but how would you normally differentiate [i] in bit from the [iː] in beet using Cyrillic or would they ...
jastako's user avatar
  • 449
6 votes
1 answer
185 views

Naming language based on real language

I apologize if similar question has already been answered, I tried to look for it but didn't find anything. I'm trying to make a simple naming language that looks/sounds vaguely like nahuatl (if I ...
Zuzka Houšková's user avatar
6 votes
4 answers
338 views

Four vowels, with no /i/ sound. Is it possible?

My vowel phonemic inventory would be just /a/, /e/, /o/ and /u/ with no /i/ sound. Is this possible or not?
SPYRX's user avatar
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4 votes
3 answers
795 views

Simplified Version of IPA?

In IPA, the sounds of many symbols are so close that they are indistinguishable to me! For example, [bʊk], [ɓʊk], or [βʊk]. Even though they do have some minor differences, but all a listener like me ...
PiggyChu001's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
286 views

What setting for the dropoff rate in a language generator will produce a natural English phoneme distribution?

In creating an ancestral lang for a hard-fantasy world that is based on the language of your home, you first have to understand that language. And for an impatient worldbuilder like me, the Vulgar ...
JohnWDailey's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
174 views

Which sounds could a lipless humanoid produce?

In my world, I have a race of humanoids who speak a language called Gé̃kt, which is derived from various Eastern Iranian languages such as Khotanese, Ossetian, Yaghnobi and Bactrian with a dash of ...
Arbiter Elegantiae's user avatar
5 votes
3 answers
202 views

What decides where is the break between syllables?

I'm getting started with creating a language and I run into trouble when I started using rules I devised for protolanguage (e.g. only open syllables). However I run into trouble when I tried to apply ...
Maja Piechotka's user avatar
6 votes
2 answers
315 views

IPA for Voiced Velopharyngeal Stop?

A conlang I am working on contains the nasal syllabic consonants [m̩] and [n̩] fairly frequently. It seems like it would be a natural step for the language to develop what I would call a voiced ...
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