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Re: Onomatopoeia - do you make use of it?

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  • Alex Fink
    ... Well, you re in luck: Kash has an allophonic rule that final -ñ is [N]. ... This isn t general enough to deserve the title of system either, but
    Message 1 of 8 , Sep 21, 2013
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      On Sat, 21 Sep 2013 15:56:05 -0400, Matthew George <matt.msg@...> wrote:

      >Thank you for those colorful examples - I can really perceive how they
      >convey the nature of their referents, assuming I'm interpreting the
      >phonology correctly. Syllable-ending ñ is a bit of a challenge for me.

      Well, you're in luck: Kash has an allophonic rule that final -ñ is [N].

      >Do you have any analysis of how and why a sequence of phones evokes sounds
      >or actions? 'krak' seems like a good example of cracking or breaking, but
      >if you voice the last consonant the association vanishes. Turning p to b
      >doesn't disrupt 'pruprup' to my ear, but changing 'pop' to 'bob' (forex)
      >does. I have no systematic way to understand my reactions, and am curious
      >as to others' degree of rational insight.

      This isn't general enough to deserve the title of "system" either, but something comes to mind for these cases you bring up. In English, at least, final voiceless stops are articulated with glottalisation and with (etically) shorter vowels, both of which increase the abruptness of the cessation of sonority, whereas final voiceless stops are unglotallised and have (etically) longer vowels. Cacking and popping are both abrupt, punctual events, so their representations [krak] and [pop] benefit from this voiceless-stop abruptness. By contrast, stomach gas is an iterative series of burblings, certainly not abrupt as a whole (nor even as abrupt in its parts), so its representation [pruprup]~[brubrub] doesn't lose meetness without this effect.

      Alex
    • C. Brickner
      I didn’t realize that Senjecas had so many until the question was asked. báába: bleat bálba: babble báɱa: bay ( = /m_0/) booúla: bubble búþa:
      Message 2 of 8 , Sep 22, 2013
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        I didn’t realize that Senjecas had so many until the question was asked.

        báába: bleat
        bálba: babble
        báɱa: bay (<ɱ> = /m_0/)
        booúla: bubble
        búþa: throb, beat
        ðérɱa: rumble, roar
        fííɱa: spit
        gála: yell
        gáɱa: squawk, caw
        gúra: grunt
        ĸááĸa: choke
        ĸáĸa: cackle, cluck
        ĸeĸaĸú: cock-a-doodle-doo
        ĸʷása: cough
        ĸʷáĸa: quack
        ĸúĸa: cuckoo
        lááa: barĸ
        múúga: low, moo
        múra: murmur
        núra: growl
        pálba: chatter, jabber
        píípa: chirp, peep
        qrúsa: gnash (<q> = /j\/)
        qúma: howl
        rééĸa: neigh, chortle
        rééta: roar
        síma: whisper
        súsa: bluster, sough
        sʷéra: buzz, hum
        sʲúna: whine
        télĸa: rap, toll
        tómpa: boom
        túta: coo
        úla: hoot
        vrésa: crackle, rustle
        xáta: pop, puff (<x> = /C/)
        xúra: snore
        zíga: sigh
        zúba: grit the teeth

        Charlie

        ----- Original Message -----
        It was a little surprising to me to realize how common onomatopoeia is in
        English, and it seems in many other natural languages, although the
        relationship between word and sound isn't always obvious to non-native
        speakers. (I found a list of representations of animal sounds in various
        languages to be quite bemusing.)

        Do you make an effort to include onomatopoeia in your conlangs? If it's a
        language for an alien species with different perceptions, do you try to
        create accordingly?

        Matt G.
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