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Re: Conlangs and English Language History

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  • R A Brown
    On 30/04/2013 19:37, H. S. Teoh wrote: [snip] ... Not obviously so. ... Your guess is probably as good any anyone else s. It was a feature originally of the
    Message 1 of 35 , Apr 30, 2013
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      On 30/04/2013 19:37, H. S. Teoh wrote:
      [snip]
      >
      > Why was <grk>u</grk> fronted, though? Was it part of a
      > chain-shift type shift?

      Not obviously so.

      > Also, did it pass through intermediate POAs or was there
      > some other kind of process?

      Your guess is probably as good any anyone else's. It was a
      feature originally of the Ionic dialect, but because Attic
      (the dialect of Athens) was a sub-dialect of Ionic and
      Athens came to exert such a strong cultural influence, the
      Ionic pronunciation eventually formed the basis of the
      internationalized Koine and the rest, as they say, is history.

      Why did Vulgar Latin /u/ shift to /y/ in Old French? Why do
      we hear English /u/ pronounced [ʉ] in some British regions?
      Why did early Welsh [u] shift (presumably) to [ʉ] before
      becoming unrounded [ɨ].

      FWIW one theory that I have seen put forward is that there
      is less room between the back of the tongue and the palate
      to accommodate such a range of vowels as those that can be
      made at the front of the mouth, and this tends to make /u/
      shift out of place to make more room.

      Whatever the reason, the shift of [u] --> [ʉ] --> [y] is not
      exactly uncommon.

      > I've never quite understood why in many languages
      > palatized [k] tends to become something like [ts] or
      > [tS] rather than, say, [c]. Why are the intermediate
      > POAs skipped?

      My guess is that they probably aren't.

      > (Or are palatals inherently unstable and tend to
      > gravitate towards alveolars rather quickly?)

      Certainly there is a marked preference for languages to
      prefer an affricate of some kind, rather than plain [c].

      --
      Ray
      ==================================
      http://www.carolandray.plus.com
      ==================================
      "language … began with half-musical unanalysed expressions
      for individual beings and events."
      [Otto Jespersen, Progress in Language, 1895]
    • Leonardo Castro
      ... Nice! I have already considered or for /ŋ/ and or for homorganic nasals. I think your choices are probably the best looking; teñki
      Message 35 of 35 , May 9, 2013
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        2013/4/30 Herman Miller <hmiller@...>:
        > On 4/30/2013 12:38 PM, Leonardo Castro wrote:
        >>
        >> 2013/4/30 BPJ<bpj@...>:
        >>>
        >>> 2013-04-30 13:49, Leonardo Castro skrev:
        >>>
        >>>> BTW, does anyone have a system that distinguishes /n/, /m/, /N/ and a
        >>>> general nasal stop /~/ with Roman characters?
        >>>
        >>>
        >>>
        >>> You mean nasalization like in French or Portuguese I suppose,
        >>> coz that's what /~/ is.
        >>
        >>
        >> I meant a nasal stop that has the same place of articulation as the
        >> following consonant. That is, it "absorbs" the place of articulation
        >> of the following consonant.
        >
        >
        > Sounds like anusvara in Indic languages, which can be represented as m with
        > a dot under it (ṃ). If you're using <ṃ>, you might as well also use <ṅ> (n
        > with dot above) for /ŋ/.
        >
        > In Yasaro romanization I use <ñ> for homorganic nasals and <ŋ> (eng) for
        > /ŋ/.

        Nice! I have already considered <ñ> or <ŋ> for /ŋ/ and <ñ> or <~> for
        homorganic nasals. I think your choices are probably the best looking;
        "teñki" looks a lot better than "te~ki". There's also the option of
        letting <n> always stand for homorganic nasals before consonants and
        for /n/ before vowels, if you conlang doesn't have minimal pairs that
        cause ambiguity in this system.

        Até mais!

        Leonardo
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