Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Sound-change help

Expand Messages
  • Austin Blanton
    As a few of you may know, my first and current conlang project is one spoken by a race of cat-folk. Their world is set in a time when our world, in the
    Message 1 of 4 , Mar 10, 2014
    • 0 Attachment
      As a few of you may know, my first and current conlang project is one spoken by a race of cat-folk. Their world is set in a time when our world, in the not-too-distant future is reshaped by forces which come to be understood as magic. In time, the entire world is reborn by a cataclysmic event a la the Norse concept of Ragnarök. Because of this, I want to weave in references to the modern day, such as places, events, etc. Current happening which will become legend, and machines and relics from today which will become profound and troubling mysteries. Thus, comes the topic of this email. I adore sound mutation, at least as I know it. I like to play a telephone game with myself to see how words or names might change over time. However, I have no real academic knowledge on how sound changes occur, and what influences them. Are any of you knowledgable in this branch of study? I have seen a thread or two on it as of late.
    • James Kane
      Hiya! My advice is just have a look around at various examples of sound change and just familiarise yourself with them. Here is a link that I think is pretty
      Message 2 of 4 , Mar 10, 2014
      • 0 Attachment
        Hiya!

        My advice is just have a look around at various examples of sound change and just familiarise yourself with them. Here is a link that I think is pretty good for a beginner to see different types of sound change: http://jc.tech-galaxy.com/bricka/sound_changes.html

        Two things I'll say are, remember that sound changes tend to happen together and as cohesive units. So rather than /b/ becoming /v/, /d/ becoming /h/ and /g/ becoming /q/ unconditionally, it's more likely that they will all become voiceless fricatives and even more likely that they might be conditioned somehow. Which is the second point, a lot of sound changes happen conditionally.

        Hope that helps!

        James

        > On 11/03/2014, at 10:51 am, Austin Blanton <marbleboy10@...> wrote:
        >
        > As a few of you may know, my first and current conlang project is one spoken by a race of cat-folk. Their world is set in a time when our world, in the not-too-distant future is reshaped by forces which come to be understood as magic. In time, the entire world is reborn by a cataclysmic event a la the Norse concept of Ragnarök. Because of this, I want to weave in references to the modern day, such as places, events, etc. Current happening which will become legend, and machines and relics from today which will become profound and troubling mysteries. Thus, comes the topic of this email. I adore sound mutation, at least as I know it. I like to play a telephone game with myself to see how words or names might change over time. However, I have no real academic knowledge on how sound changes occur, and what influences them. Are any of you knowledgable in this branch of study? I have seen a thread or two on it as of late.
      • Roger Mills
        Sound change can be really weird!!! One theory has it that as each generation of children learn the language, they misinterpret or generalize on rules (or
        Message 3 of 4 , Mar 10, 2014
        • 0 Attachment
          Sound change can be really weird!!! One theory has it that as each generation of children learn the language, they misinterpret or generalize on rules (or mistakes!) that existed in their parents' language. But those can go in any direction, not necessarily towards ease or simplicity of pronunciation/grammar.


          Sometimes it's pure speculation as to why a given sound change has occurred-- e.g. the Great Vowel Shift of English (and German and Dutch did something similar too). All the linguist can do is try to figure out the route(s) taken from one stage to another.

          One peculiarity in my field (Austronesian ~Malayo-Polynesian) is a sound reconstructed early on as a "palato-velar *g" (written g with acute accent). A later scholar decided to call it *j, implying a purely palatal sound. But in the various modern languages, it's reflected as /r, l, d, g, y, s, z/ and others too IIRC. Another peculiarity is, it's the only member of the proto stop system (or better, obstruent system) that does not occur in initial position. Something is wrong there......


          Ray Brown likes to cite an example where IIRC the sequence _ni_ in Old Chinese > _a_ in later Chinese.


          My suggestion would be to get a basic textbook on historical linguistics. There are several out there, but I don't have any names offhand. It's been a long time since I learned the basics :-(((.  I suspect the LCS Conlanger's Library might have some recommendations, and hopefully,, others on the List will chime in.




          On Monday, March 10, 2014 6:13 PM, Austin Blanton <marbleboy10@...> wrote:

          As a few of you may know, my first and current conlang project is one spoken by a race of cat-folk. Their world is set in a time when our world, in the not-too-distant future is reshaped by forces which come to be understood as magic. In time, the entire world is reborn by a cataclysmic event a la the Norse concept of Ragnarök. Because of this, I want to weave in references to the modern day, such as places, events, etc. Current happening which will become legend, and machines and relics from today which will become profound and troubling mysteries. Thus, comes the topic of this email. I adore sound mutation, at least as I know it. I like to play a telephone game with myself to see how words or names might change over time. However, I have no real academic knowledge on how sound changes occur, and what influences them. Are any of you knowledgable in this branch of study? I have seen a thread or two on it as of late.
        • Bettina Beinhoff
          Lyle Campbell s introduction to historical linguistics is quite accessible and I have used it with my students before (
          Message 4 of 4 , Mar 11, 2014
          • 0 Attachment
            Lyle Campbell's introduction to historical linguistics is quite accessible
            and I have used it with my students before (
            http://books.google.co.uk/books/about/Historical_Linguistics.html?id=EjXrrOJhex8C&redir_esc=y).
            It requires a bit of linguistic background knowledge, but it's pitched at
            relative beginners in the field.

            Best wishes,
            Bettina


            On 11 March 2014 03:48, Roger Mills <romiltz@...> wrote:

            > Sound change can be really weird!!! One theory has it that as each
            > generation of children learn the language, they misinterpret or generalize
            > on rules (or mistakes!) that existed in their parents' language. But those
            > can go in any direction, not necessarily towards ease or simplicity of
            > pronunciation/grammar.
            >
            >
            > Sometimes it's pure speculation as to why a given sound change has
            > occurred-- e.g. the Great Vowel Shift of English (and German and Dutch did
            > something similar too). All the linguist can do is try to figure out the
            > route(s) taken from one stage to another.
            >
            > One peculiarity in my field (Austronesian ~Malayo-Polynesian) is a sound
            > reconstructed early on as a "palato-velar *g" (written g with acute
            > accent). A later scholar decided to call it *j, implying a purely palatal
            > sound. But in the various modern languages, it's reflected as /r, l, d, g,
            > y, s, z/ and others too IIRC. Another peculiarity is, it's the only member
            > of the proto stop system (or better, obstruent system) that does not occur
            > in initial position. Something is wrong there......
            >
            >
            > Ray Brown likes to cite an example where IIRC the sequence _ni_ in Old
            > Chinese > _a_ in later Chinese.
            >
            >
            > My suggestion would be to get a basic textbook on historical linguistics.
            > There are several out there, but I don't have any names offhand. It's been
            > a long time since I learned the basics :-(((. I suspect the LCS
            > Conlanger's Library might have some recommendations, and hopefully,, others
            > on the List will chime in.
            >
            >
            >
            >
            > On Monday, March 10, 2014 6:13 PM, Austin Blanton <marbleboy10@...>
            > wrote:
            >
            > As a few of you may know, my first and current conlang project is one
            > spoken by a race of cat-folk. Their world is set in a time when our world,
            > in the not-too-distant future is reshaped by forces which come to be
            > understood as magic. In time, the entire world is reborn by a cataclysmic
            > event a la the Norse concept of Ragnarök. Because of this, I want to weave
            > in references to the modern day, such as places, events, etc. Current
            > happening which will become legend, and machines and relics from today
            > which will become profound and troubling mysteries. Thus, comes the topic
            > of this email. I adore sound mutation, at least as I know it. I like to
            > play a telephone game with myself to see how words or names might change
            > over time. However, I have no real academic knowledge on how sound changes
            > occur, and what influences them. Are any of you knowledgable in this branch
            > of study? I have seen a thread or two on it as of late.
            >
          Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.