7 votes

What are the most common sound changes in natlangs?

By far the most common changes are assimilation, one sound becoming more similar to a nearby sound, and lenition, a sound shifting to require less articulatory effort. These are both broad categories ...
Draconis's user avatar
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7 votes
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Is there a set of sound change rules that undoes Grimm's law?

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 ...
bradrn's user avatar
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6 votes
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What is the variety of ways one can deal with absorbing words from different languages in a conlang?

If you want to be strict, coerce them into your phonological rules. Macy's: that would fit as macys; if /y/ is not a vowel, then macis Outback: start with a consonant, so use one that is not too ...
Oliver Mason's user avatar
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5 votes
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How to prevent all of my words being eroded away to nothing

As a general rule, regular sound changes wear away at words, reducing their information content. Countering this, morphosyntactic changes restore the lost information. For example, let's look at Latin....
Draconis's user avatar
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5 votes

Are words based on acronyms treated differently when the language changes over time?

It depends on the word in question. Not that many English speakers would recognise laser as an acronym, so it has effectively become a 'normal' word. And it can be inflected, as in She was lasering ...
Oliver Mason's user avatar
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4 votes

What is the variety of ways one can deal with absorbing words from different languages in a conlang?

There must be rules of some sort to guide the transformation of any word, is that correct? If you believe in optimality theory (OT), this comes down to the constraints on valid words in the language. ...
Draconis's user avatar
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3 votes

What are the most common sound changes in natlangs?

Here are a couple sound changes I use when I'm not sure what to do: Voiceless consonants becoming voiced between two vowels (intervocalic voicing) [u] and [o] becoming [y] and [ø] in the environment ...
nearsighted's user avatar
3 votes

What are the most common sound changes in natlangs?

Things are probably hard to quantify, but some specific sound changes seem to be more frequent than others, most notably: /h/ -> /∅/ (loss of /h/) The consonant system often has gaps at /p/ and /g/:...
Sir Cornflakes's user avatar
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3 votes

Are words based on acronyms treated differently when the language changes over time?

Acronyms are, for the most part, a relatively recent phenomenon (as they make the most sense with a high level of literacy), and so it's hard to really look at what's happened in natural languages. ...
Tristan's user avatar
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3 votes

What is the variety of ways one can deal with absorbing words from different languages in a conlang?

You can look at how it is done in real languages. What typically happens is that the word is phonologically morphed to match the phonotactics of the adopting language. Japanese provides some obvious ...
Keith Morrison's user avatar
3 votes
Accepted

How much of the irregularity caused by sound change (e.g. vowel loss) will be retained in inflectional paradigms?

The way I put it in historical linguistics classes is: Sound laws are entirely regular, and create irregularity Analogy is entirely irregular, and creates regularity In other words, neogrammarian-...
Draconis's user avatar
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3 votes

How to prevent all of my words being eroded away to nothing

Sound shifts are to some amount irreversible. Long before your words are completely gone, the rate of homophones rises and the speakers of the language have to deal with it in some way or another. The ...
Sir Cornflakes's user avatar
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3 votes
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An all consonant language? (Part Two)

Well, over time, you're almost certainly going to gain vowels. Vowels are very easy to pronounce (think about the first sounds babies make as they're learning to use their mouths), and very easy to ...
Draconis's user avatar
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2 votes

An all consonant language? (Part Two)

I personally don't think it is possible to have a language without vowels unless you are talking about a sign language or some code like language that doesn't use syllables (as in clicks or taps or ...
Frostypine's user avatar
2 votes

How much of the irregularity caused by sound change (e.g. vowel loss) will be retained in inflectional paradigms?

Define "huge amount". Let's say this is for verb conjugation (maybe it's avtually for nouns; you didn't specify). If there's some commonality - e.g. vowel syncope as you mention - among ...
Arcaeca's user avatar
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