20

Click consonants are rare in natlangs, but rather popular in conlangs, though despite this, given the existence of things like !Xóõ reality is stranger than most fiction in this specific regard. Language-game/conlang(?) turned actual spoken register Damin had several phonemes not seen in (other?) natural languages, such as an ingressive glotally interrupted ...


16

There's also the brilliant masterpiece kay(f)bop(t), which features the dextral lateral click (a click made on the right side of the mouth) the sinistral lateral click (a click made on the left side of the mouth) the manual stop (a clap, which may only occur in morphemes pertaining to penguins) the faciomanual click (a facepalm, which may only occur in ...


14

In Ithkuil, a geminate /h/ can be produced as a bidental fricative, a sound which is only attested in a single dialect of a single natural language. hh The geminated version of Ithkuil h is pronounced in either of two ways: (1) as a “bi-dental” fricative, in that the jaw is completely closed and the upper and lower teeth are in near-contact ...


12

From what I remember from the cartoon, Pikachu could only say certain permutations of its name, with any combination of vowels elongated. 3 syllables pikat͡ʃu 8 words 2 syllables pika 4 words 1 syllables pi 2 words Pikachu is also capable of producing at least 4 different tones: Tone IPA Made when High ˥ Excited Mid ...


10

From reading the answers to the Worldbuilding SE you reference, I would draw the following conclusions: anything unvoiced goes out of the window. So no /f/, /p/, /k/, /t/, /s/ etc. They are pretty useless, as they are predominantly in the higher frequency ranges (especially the fricatives) or very short and without much energy (which would be provided by ...


10

A vowel-only language is surely constructable (and I think, learnable, too), but I am afraid that it will be instable against evolutionary pressure. Vowel sequences like /aua/ or /aia/ tend to develop into glides /awa/ and /aja/ giving raise to the first consonants in the language, and at the hiat between two vowel a third consonant, the glottal stop, may ...


9

There are generally a lot fewer vowels than consonants in the phoneme inventory of human languages. That means, with fewer sounds you need to make the words a lot longer if you want to have a decent-sized vocabulary. Also, vowel pronunciation is more varied. There aren't many different ways to pronounce /t/ or /k/, but any regional dialect will change ...


9

Well, there is always Solresol, which has several isomorphic representations, and some of those could be considered vowel-only (depending on the instrument used). For natlangs, there are whistled languages, with a very reduced consonant inventory. They could fit your criteria especially if you consider tones to be a feature of vowels, and look at the ...


7

This would be very unstable in a human language. For an example of what happens when this vowel is missing, let's look at English's Great Vowel Shift. One of the first things to change was /i:/ becoming /aj/, leaving it without /i/. Within less than a hundred years, /e:/ had migrated to take its place. In your specific case, I would expect /e/ -> /i/, /a/ -...


6

This is somewhat similar to "what's the purpose of odd and even numbers". Looking at the sounds produced in human languages we can distinguish two different ways of articulation, one where sound waves are produced by the glottis, modulated in the vocal tract through opening of the jaw (open/closed) and position of the tongue (front/back), but otherwise pass ...


6

A while ago, someone on reddit tried to test this experimentally (using a bathtub). Here’s what they found: Vowels Overall, these were the hardest to distinguish (at least personally). The most striking vowels were /æ, i, u/. /a, o, ɑ, ɒ, ɔ/ all seemed to blend together, losing distinction. The same happened to close-mid and open-mid center ...


6

Nasal consonants are not nasal because you use any "nose muscles", but because the nasal passage is open and air is passing through it as well as the mouth. To my knowledge, the nasal passage does not have different degrees of being open or closed, so there wouldn't be any way to make a nasal consonant more nasal. However, there are definitely some sounds ...


6

For a constructed language, this is definitely possible. It is not a natural choice but not completely unseen in natural languages, according to PHOIBLE 92% of the sampled languages contain the vowel /i/.


5

This is really one of those times where the only viable answer is "it's completely up to you!" Sometimes the stress changes, sometimes it doesn't. This depends on the stress rules of the language. In your case, I'd suggest that if you like that vowel deletion, then you should codify the rule to indicate that addition of a suffix that causes a shift ...


4

I would argue that the orthography of your conlang is not just OK but really excellent given your description of the phonology. Why is this the case? It keeps the number of letters needed to write the language in a very comfortable range. The additional sounds are given by digraphs, a method that is often preferable over adding more letters to the basic ...


4

I recall some years ago, someone submitted a greeting for Conlangery that was a bunch of insect sounds. According to the conlanger it is meaningful, though I don’t vet greetings too thoroughly. Also, in my earliest conlang, Yeltax, there is a harmonic tone, with two simultaneous pitches. It’s impossible for humans to produce in normal speech, as the aliens ...


3

You're gonna have a hard time with "majority of the entire IPA". Non-pulmonic consonants are rare, and some consonants are hard to contrast (e.g. /β/ vs. /v/), while vowels are often highly allophonic. Natural languages tend to have fewer IPA places and distinction via aspiration, labialization, etc. My best answer to your question would be Ithkuil (...


3

I think vowel + shift in tone is key. If you'd just have different tones (as in notes) for vowels, that would conflict with expressions of pain, surprise, etc. In Asian Philology, when we talk about "tones", we actually mean a change in pitch for a vowel. Chinese has 4: Same, Up, Down and Down+Up. Thai for example has more. Here's a grid of the most used ...


2

Old Entish is a possibility, though not really by direct attestation. The Professor says of Old Entish that it is "...slow, sonorous, agglomerated, repetitive, indeed long-winded; formed of a multiplicity of vowel-shades and distinctions of tone and quantity which even the loremasters of the Eldar had not attempted to represent in writing" (LotR Appendix F) ...


2

You can use standard musical notation to describe the tones of your conlang. Level tones are just represented by different notes, and tonal glides can be represented by groups of notes joined with a slur. The notes can also hint the duration of a syllable. An alternative to that are Tone Letters introduced by the Chinese linguist Yuen Ren Chao providing a ...


2

The purpose of vowels and consonants it to make up syllables. We just call the most prominent part of the syllable "vowel" and the the other sounds grouped around that core "consonants". Some sounds can be on both sides: There are languages where the liquids (l, m, n, r) can act as vowels, and some short vowels (i, u) can act as consonants usually named "...


2

I speak Finnish, which is one of the more vowel-oriented languages. Considering the 8 vowels, diphthongs, double-vowel (long) sounds... there's probably 2-3 dozen vowel sounds. 90 not only feels like overkill, but I wonder how effectively anyone could distinguish that many sounds. It's like asking someone to involve all the sounds in 5-6 U.S. dialects all ...


2

A vowel system of /a e o u/ would certainly be unusual and unstable, and appears to be unattested, but lack of /i/ is certainly attested. Marshallese, for instance, has the thoroughly strange vowel inventory of /a ɜ ɘ ɨ/ (though [i] is present phonetically, as an allophone of /ɨ/). Kalam has a vowel system of /a e o/ (though [i] is again present phonetically,...


1

you could, with conlangs you really can do anything. it doesn't need to make sense. however you should probably ask yourself what your goal is with that. if you're going for naturalism, /i/ is one of the most universal sounds crosslinguistically, a language without /i/ is practically unheard of... even languages that don't have an /i/ in the inventory will ...


1

90 different vowels sounds a lot, but you include tone as a distinguishing feature. I don't know how many tone/length distinctions you have, but some natural languages have 6 tones. This brings the number of different vowel qualities down to 15 which is still a large number, but in the range of natural languages (German and Norwegian are in that range). 14 ...


1

If you have ninety vowels (including diphthongs), I'd say your invented language is already above average. English is probably at the higher end of the vowel spectrum with twentyish; but there are plenty of languages with far fewer (as few as two or three!). Since your title question references invented languages specifically, you might consider trawling ...


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