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Re: Three vowel systems (was: Brr)

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  • T. A. McLeay
    ... Do I read you right in claiming a vowel system comprised of /i: i I: I 1: 1/? Is there an anadew for that? ... That, at least, is unscary. -- Tristan.
    Message 1 of 14 , Aug 1, 2007
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      Joseph Fatula wrote:
      > John Vertical wrote:
      >> I've gotten the impression that 3-vowel conprotolangs are popular for some
      >> reason.
      >
      > I'm not sure why that would be the case. The ancestral language to most
      > of the langs I've been working with over the past few years has a
      > 9-vowel system, plus length, making it 18. It tends to reduce down in
      > the descendants, though one of them subsequently brought it back up to 10.
      >
      > The 9-vowel system is /a i u O e o { I 1/. The later 10-vowel system is

      Do I read you right in claiming a vowel system comprised of /i: i I: I
      1: 1/? Is there an anadew for that?

      > /6 a: E e: I i: O o: U u:/.

      That, at least, is unscary.

      --
      Tristan.
    • Benct Philip Jonsson
      ... Standard Swedish has 9 vowels, possibly plus length, although the jury is chronically out on whether vowel length is phonemic or a function of stress and
      Message 2 of 14 , Aug 2, 2007
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        Mark J. Reed skrev:
        > On 8/1/07, Joseph Fatula <joefatula@...> wrote:
        >> I'm not sure why that would be the case. The ancestral
        >> language to most of the langs I've been working with over
        >> the past few years has a 9-vowel system, plus length,
        >> making it 18.
        >
        >
        >
        > Wow. And they say that even 10-vowel systems (including
        > length) are unstable. :)
        >
        >

        Standard Swedish has 9 vowels, possibly plus length,
        although the jury is chronically out on whether vowel
        length is phonemic or a function of stress and syllable
        structure/morphotactics. Many Swedish dialects add three
        more vowels to that system:

        : i y (u\) u
        :
        : e 2 8 o
        :
        : E (3\)
        :
        : (a) Q/A

        Items in parentheses are the extra 'dialectal' vowels.


        /BP 8^)>
        --
        Benct Philip Jonsson -- melroch atte melroch dotte se
        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
        "Ge dig, Jedi!"
        -- A Sith from Gothenburg
      • John Vertical
        ... I knew of /3 /, but what s the deal with /u a/? AFAIK those phones usually appear as the long variant of /8/ and short variant of /A/ - is there a split
        Message 3 of 14 , Aug 2, 2007
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          >Standard Swedish has 9 vowels, possibly plus length,
          >although the jury is chronically out on whether vowel
          >length is phonemic or a function of stress and syllable
          >structure/morphotactics. Many Swedish dialects add three
          >more vowels to that system:
          >
          >: i y (u\) u
          >:
          >: e 2 8 o
          >:
          >: E (3\)
          >:
          >: (a) Q/A
          >
          >Items in parentheses are the extra 'dialectal' vowels.
          >
          >
          >/BP 8^)

          I knew of /3\/, but what's the deal with /u\ a/? AFAIK those phones usually
          appear as the long variant of /8/ and short variant of /A/ - is there a split of
          some sort going on?

          John Vertical
        • Benct Philip Jonsson
          ... Yes, though it is hardly going on , but was completed at least 1 1/2 centuries ago. Historically speaking there was both lengthening of [a] and lowering
          Message 4 of 14 , Aug 2, 2007
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            John Vertical skrev:
            >> Standard Swedish has 9 vowels, possibly plus length,
            >> although the jury is chronically out on whether vowel
            >> length is phonemic or a function of stress and syllable
            >> structure/morphotactics. Many Swedish dialects add three
            >> more vowels to that system:
            >>
            >> : i y (u\) u
            >> :
            >> : e 2 8 o
            >> :
            >> : E (3\)
            >> :
            >> : (a) Q/A
            >>
            >> Items in parentheses are the extra 'dialectal' vowels.
            >>
            >>
            >> /BP 8^)
            >
            > I knew of /3\/, but what's the deal with /u\ a/? AFAIK
            > those phones usually appear as the long variant of /8/
            > and short variant of /A/ - is there a split of some sort
            > going on?
            >
            > John Vertical

            Yes, though it is hardly 'going on', but was completed at
            least 1 1/2 centuries ago. Historically speaking there was
            both lengthening of [a] and lowering of [&:] (before /r/)
            and raising of [8] in certain contexts. There was also
            backing of short [a] in certain contexts, creating a
            tenuous distinction between short [a] and [A]. The long
            [8:] is of rather low incidence, but fairly regular in
            _du_ [d8:] 'thou'.

            /BP 8^)>
            --
            Benct Philip Jonsson -- melroch atte melroch dotte se
            ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
            "Truth, Sir, is a cow which will give [skeptics] no
            more milk, and so they are gone to milk the bull."
            -- Sam. Johnson (no rel. ;)
          • Joseph Fatula
            ... It contains those sounds, yes. I m not sure whether to call the last vowel /1/ or /E/, it seems like it s somewhere in between those when I m pronouncing
            Message 5 of 14 , Aug 2, 2007
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              T. A. McLeay wrote:
              > Joseph Fatula wrote:
              >
              >> John Vertical wrote:
              >>
              >>> I've gotten the impression that 3-vowel conprotolangs are popular for some
              >>> reason.
              >>>
              >> I'm not sure why that would be the case. The ancestral language to most
              >> of the langs I've been working with over the past few years has a
              >> 9-vowel system, plus length, making it 18. It tends to reduce down in
              >> the descendants, though one of them subsequently brought it back up to 10.
              >>
              >> The 9-vowel system is /a i u O e o { I 1/. The later 10-vowel system is
              >>
              >
              > Do I read you right in claiming a vowel system comprised of /i: i I: I
              > 1: 1/? Is there an anadew for that?
              >

              It contains those sounds, yes. I'm not sure whether to call the last
              vowel /1/ or /E/, it seems like it's somewhere in between those when I'm
              pronouncing it. Is this a very strange system? It seems like Hungarian
              has one about as complex.

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            • T. A. McLeay
              ... [1] and [E] aren t exactly nearby sounds unless you re using [1] to mean something other than a high central unrounded vowel i.e. IPA [ɨ]. Somewhere in
              Message 6 of 14 , Aug 2, 2007
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                Joseph Fatula wrote:
                > T. A. McLeay wrote:

                >> Do I read you right in claiming a vowel system comprised of /i: i I: I
                >> 1: 1/? Is there an anadew for that?
                >>
                >
                > It contains those sounds, yes. I'm not sure whether to call the last
                > vowel /1/ or /E/, it seems like it's somewhere in between those when I'm
                > pronouncing it.

                [1] and [E] aren't exactly nearby sounds unless you're using [1] to mean
                something other than a high central unrounded vowel i.e. IPA [ɨ].
                "Somewhere in between" would be something like [@] or [I].

                >Is this a very strange system? It seems like Hungarian
                > has one about as complex.

                I have never heard of a language that has all of /i: i I: I/; indeed, my
                understanding is it's unheard of! Hungarian has a fairly boring system:
                /i: i y: y e: E 2: 2 Q A: o: o u: u/, some dialects also having /e/ (and
                all of /e: E e/ are quite low for those IPA symbols).

                Icelandic has /i I/ with two allophones each: [i: I:] in open syllables,
                [i I] in closed ones. But this is part of a regular/systematic process
                and is clearly allophonic; it is, however, the closest I know.

                --
                Tristan.
              • John Vertical
                ... IMHO [7] or [V] sound a bit like a mix of [i ] and [E] , especially if the unrounding (lip spreding) is emphasized. ... There are some African langs that
                Message 7 of 14 , Aug 3, 2007
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                  >Joseph Fatula wrote:
                  >> T. A. McLeay wrote:
                  >
                  >>> Do I read you right in claiming a vowel system comprised of /i: i I: I
                  >>> 1: 1/? Is there an anadew for that?
                  >>
                  >> It contains those sounds, yes. I'm not sure whether to call the last
                  >> vowel /1/ or /E/, it seems like it's somewhere in between those when I'm
                  >> pronouncing it.
                  >
                  >[1] and [E] aren't exactly nearby sounds unless you're using [1] to mean
                  >something other than a high central unrounded vowel i.e. IPA [ɨ].
                  >"Somewhere in between" would be something like [@] or [I].

                  IMHO [7] or [V] sound a bit like " a mix of [i\] and [E]", especially if the
                  unrounding (lip spreding) is emphasized.


                  >>Is this a very strange system? It seems like Hungarian
                  >> has one about as complex.
                  >
                  >I have never heard of a language that has all of /i: i I: I/; indeed, my
                  >understanding is it's unheard of! Hungarian has a fairly boring system:
                  >/i: i y: y e: E 2: 2 Q A: o: o u: u/, some dialects also having /e/ (and
                  >all of /e: E e/ are quite low for those IPA symbols).
                  >
                  >Icelandic has /i I/ with two allophones each: [i: I:] in open syllables,
                  >[i I] in closed ones. But this is part of a regular/systematic process
                  >and is clearly allophonic; it is, however, the closest I know.
                  >
                  >--
                  >Tristan.

                  There are some African langs that have both ATR/RTR and short/long vowel
                  distinctions, which results in /i i: I I:/. For one example, take Somali:
                  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Somali_phonology

                  'Fcors an ATR [i] vs RTR [I] distinction is not exactly the same as a plain [i I]
                  distinction, but I dout we're going to find anything better.

                  John Vertical
                • T. A. McLeay
                  ... This is, I guess, a matter of opinion and the phonetics of your native language; to me [V] is all but indistinguishable from [O], and [7] sounds very
                  Message 8 of 14 , Aug 3, 2007
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                    John Vertical wrote:
                    >> Joseph Fatula wrote:
                    >>> T. A. McLeay wrote:
                    >>>> Do I read you right in claiming a vowel system comprised of /i: i I: I
                    >>>> 1: 1/? Is there an anadew for that?
                    >>> It contains those sounds, yes. I'm not sure whether to call the last
                    >>> vowel /1/ or /E/, it seems like it's somewhere in between those when I'm
                    >>> pronouncing it.
                    >> [1] and [E] aren't exactly nearby sounds unless you're using [1] to mean
                    >> something other than a high central unrounded vowel i.e. IPA [ɨ].
                    >> "Somewhere in between" would be something like [@] or [I].
                    >
                    > IMHO [7] or [V] sound a bit like " a mix of [i\] and [E]", especially if the
                    > unrounding (lip spreding) is emphasized.

                    This is, I guess, a matter of opinion and the phonetics of your native
                    language; to me [V] is all but indistinguishable from [O], and [7]
                    sounds very similar to [M] and [5] (sic!). Neither sounds like [i\] or
                    [E], nor a cross of the two.

                    >>> Is this a very strange system? It seems like Hungarian
                    >>> has one about as complex.
                    >> I have never heard of a language that has all of /i: i I: I/; indeed, my
                    >> understanding is it's unheard of! Hungarian has a fairly boring system:
                    >> /i: i y: y e: E 2: 2 Q A: o: o u: u/, some dialects also having /e/ (and
                    >> all of /e: E e/ are quite low for those IPA symbols).
                    >>
                    >> Icelandic has /i I/ with two allophones each: [i: I:] in open syllables,
                    >> [i I] in closed ones. But this is part of a regular/systematic process
                    >> and is clearly allophonic; it is, however, the closest I know.
                    >
                    > There are some African langs that have both ATR/RTR and short/long vowel
                    > distinctions, which results in /i i: I I:/. For one example, take Somali:
                    > http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Somali_phonology
                    >
                    > 'Fcors an ATR [i] vs RTR [I] distinction is not exactly the same as a plain [i I]
                    > distinction, but I dout we're going to find anything better.

                    Hm. Interesting. I wonder what it actually sounds like.

                    But, this is still only an anadoab ("a natlang duzzit ormost as
                    bad"---if you can pardon a nonrhotic, nonlambdic inclusion in an
                    acronym). Any takers on [i: i I: I 1: 1]?

                    --
                    Tristan.
                  • Andreas Johansson
                    ... I m told some varieties of Swiss German distinguish them all. Andreas
                    Message 9 of 14 , Aug 3, 2007
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                      Quoting "T. A. McLeay" <conlang@...>:

                      > I have never heard of a language that has all of /i: i I: I/; indeed, my
                      > understanding is it's unheard of!

                      I'm told some varieties of Swiss German distinguish them all.

                      Andreas
                    • John Vertical
                      ... ... After a few tests, it seems that the sound I m thinking of - I ll call it [y ] for the time being - is actually neither. More like a vowel between [i ]
                      Message 10 of 14 , Aug 4, 2007
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                        >> IMHO [7] or [V] sound a bit like " a mix of [i\] and [E]", especially if the
                        >> unrounding (lip spreding) is emphasized.
                        >
                        >This is, I guess, a matter of opinion and the phonetics of your native
                        >language; to me [V] is all but indistinguishable from [O], and [7]
                        >sounds very similar to [M] and [5] (sic!). Neither sounds like [i\] or
                        >[E], nor a cross of the two.

                        ...

                        After a few tests, it seems that the sound I'm thinking of - I'll call it
                        [y\] for the time being - is actually neither. More like a vowel between
                        [i\] and [M], in fact ... which is not very far from [7], but that vowel
                        lacks the "[E]-ness". It can't be [@\] since it's possible to put some
                        friction in it. Yet, the difference between my [y\] and [i\] is not the
                        backness of the tongue as much as it is its shape. What I think of as [i\]
                        could be described as [i_G]: back of tongue raises from [i], front retracts
                        a millimeter or two but doesn't change shape noticably. [M] differs in
                        backing the tongue quite a bit (about a centimeter) further to get velar
                        near-striction, and loering the entire blade (with simultaneous jaw
                        aperture) - the sublingual cavity basically disappears. [y\] however,
                        involves ONLY this loering of the blade wrt/ [i\]. No significant backing
                        nor loering of the dorsum.

                        Hold on, have I discovered a fourth dimension of vowelspace here? Yeah,
                        after a few further tests, I can get a distinction of this sort not only
                        with [i\], but also almost any other vowel basically. Only with mid proper
                        or hier vowels does it produce a clearly audible difference, however, and
                        it's also small with [u M]. I think I'll be calling this "anti-rhoticity"...


                        >> 'Fcors an ATR [i] vs RTR [I] distinction is not exactly the same as a
                        plain [i I]
                        >> distinction, but I dout we're going to find anything better.
                        >
                        >Hm. Interesting. I wonder what it actually sounds like.

                        >Tristan.

                        Why, ±pharyngealized.

                        I suppose there's some small technical difference between RTR and
                        pharyngealization - maybe just a question of degree; but I don't think
                        you're going to hear it (much less be able to produce it reliably.)

                        John Vertical
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