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 ...


18

If you're notating a language that uses [β] or [ɓ] but does not distinguish it from [b], that is, if there are no words such that changing one of these consonants to the other changes the meaning of the word (perhaps because [β] occurs only between vowels and [b] elsewhere), then for most purposes you write them all as /b/; so that is a “simplified IPA”. ...


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 ...


15

The phonology table shows it quite simply, it modifies the e to indicate that it is a long vowel. I don't know why the vowel table shows the dipthongs a:i and a:u but not e:i (or any others). Note that although this may seem to be a common colon, the actual IPA diacritic is two triangles, flat sides on the outside: U+02D0 ː. But as the colon doesn't have ...


14

To answer part a), the basic syntax of the notation goes like this: [before] > [after] / [context] The part after the slash gives the situations in which the sound changes occur. For example, the hypothetical spirantization of [b] to [v] intervocalically could be notated as follows: b > v / V__V This rule indicates that b becomes v when surrounded by ...


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

Linear B is an interesting example for this: This system was apparently designed for a non-Greek language, as it did not fit the sounds of Greek very well. In fact, it is likely that Linear A was used to write the pre-Greek language of Crete, and the incoming Greeks adopted this writing system for their own use, but without changing how the system ...


12

Here is another researcher (Prof. Ian Maddieson) suggesting exactly such correlations: In a presentation on Wednesday at the Acoustical Society of America fall meeting, Maddieson showed that consonant-thick languages like Georgian are more likely to develop in open, temperate environments. Meanwhile, consonant-light languages like Hawaiian are more likely ...


12

There has also been evidence that suggests that ejectives tend to occur more frequently in areas of higher elevation, perhaps due to their being easier to produce in these regions: We present evidence that the geographic context in which a language is spoken may directly impact its phonological form. We examined the geographic coordinates and elevations ...


10

Derek Bickerton and John McWhorter both have studied pidgins and creoles. A general observation is that communities that have to deal with other communities who don't speak their language, but still have to communicate resort to using pidgins, creoles which are simplified, grammatically speaking. McWhorter says English lost it's complex grammar when Vikings ...


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

I don't claim to be an expert on this, but I think it may be because that while tonogenesis is a "special" process, in that it produces a whole new dimension to the phonology (as opposed to something more "trivial" like clusters becoming new single segment phonemes), whereas tonoexodus seems to not be much different from other processes of loss in segmental ...


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 ...


9

The reason that all the different characters for “the same sound” exist is because they’re not the same sound, and trained linguists/linguistic researchers can hear the difference. Any “simplified IPA” wouldn’t be a true “IPA”, and would not be able to accurately represent the difference in sounds; you would ...


9

Yes, there are but they are language-specific. These are called phonotactics. They are well explained in the book of David Peterson "The Art of Language Invention"(E-book download link). Actually, these rules include: structure of a syllable. E.g. in Hawaiian language closed syllables are impossible. So words like "heck" are not allowed. ...


8

There are two questions (with answers) on the Esperanto stackexchange dealing with this problem (and yes, it is perceived as a problem even among Esperanto speakers): Double letters in Esperanto Asking specifically about Finnlando The conclusion is: The double letter should be pronounced differently from the single letter, and it should be a true double ...


8

You should think of phonology in terms of distinction. You have to distinguish certain consonants and vowels from others, and you have to figure out the best way to do that. A realistic inventory has spread out places of articulation, often symmetrical. It's much easier to make a distinction between spread-out consonants that between consonants that are ...


7

There have definitely been serious linguistic theories about environment affecting features like this - the ones I can remember off the top of my head are that certain sound changes in Proto-Germanic were because its speakers had thicker phlegm or something and that tonogenesis is more likely to occur in certain tropical climates. The latter was a relatively ...


7

There are a lot of hypotheses and conjectures floating around the linguistic community regarding typological features (like phoneme inventories, inflecting or isolating type etc.) and size of the speech community. However, almost none of these conjectures is currently backed up by real world data (and, on the other side, real world data are often ...


7

The best solution to this is to not make your writing system syllabic if your language does not support the syllabic structure by having a low number of syllables. I guess that one of the most commonly cited examples of a syllabic writing system is the Japanese katakana/hiragana system. Japanese phonology fits these systems very well because syllables are ...


7

I think as a general rule, a syllable comprises some combination of the following kinds of one or more of the sound types of your language: vowel, liquid, consonant. You've decided on (C)CV. And if there are two C then one must be a sibilant and the sibilant must follow a stop. So you can have syllables like sa, ta, tsa but apparently not sta. You ...


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/ -...


7

The phonotactics of a language, what you have described, is the silent partner of phonology. The analogy I like to use is that a language's phonology is its periodic table (with individual phonemes as individual elements), while its phonotactics are the entire rest of its chemistry. Higher level stuff, like morphology, semantics, pragmatics, are things like ...


7

Define categories for aspirated and unaspirated voiced stops, voiceless stops, and fricatives: A=ḅḍġǵ U=bdgɠ V=ptkƙ F=φþxẍ (I’m forced to use strange characters for each of these phones due to the one-character-per-phone restriction of SCA².) Then Grimm’s law can be reversed as follows: U/A/_ V/U/_ F/V/_ (As far as I can tell, PIE had none of /ɸ θ x xʷ/. ...


6

Both the Brahmic scripts and Canadian Aboriginal syllabics have a grapheme for "suppress this sign's inherent vowel". This could get tedious with big clusters; also, if you're starting with a pure syllabary, you have to decide which vowel to suppress!


6

What you need is to adjust your phonotactics. Since you mention it in your question you apparently know what they are, but you aren't using them to get the sounds you want. You say you find "tais" to be hideous, but you don't explain why, so let's say you don't like the way that a diphthong sounds in a closed syllable. (If this isn't the case, take this as ...


6

Probably the best technique is making the language weird by absence. Instead of giving the language weird phonemes, make it lack the most common phonemes. A language with 5 vowels but no /a/, /i/ or /u/. A language with several consonants, but no /p/, /t/, or /k/. Or totally without bilabials. Or with no stops.


6

The process of creating the phonology is described at length in Omar Mubin's PhD thesis "ROILA: RObot Interaction LAnguage" (available from the publications page). It seems to have happened in three stages. He determined which phonemes are most common in a number of natural and artificial languages (pp. 17-19). The most common vowels were /i, u, o, a, e/ (...


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