Alál is now round about four years old, and while I love its consonant inventory, there are some changes I'm considering.
The oddball click-and-/q/ trio /ǀ~ᵑǀ~ǀʰ !~ᵑ!~!ʰ ɴq~ɴ~ǂʰ/ is fun, but I'm considering replacing them (mostly) with ejectives corresponding to the other POAs (since they don't quite match up right now). This would produce /t̪ʼ ʈʼ kʼ/ and a slew of allophones. Though it's perhaps not naturalistic (my excuse would be, as always, ~aliens~) I'd rather like to keep the intervocalic nasalization, giving V_V /ⁿt̪ʼ ᶯʈʼ ᵑkʼ/. Alternatively, /t̪ʼ ʈʼ ɴqʼ/, with intervocalic /ⁿt̪ʼ ᶯʈʼ ɴ/. Also considering some other things:
1. [velar] > [uvular] /_[V+back] (giving us back good old ɴq in some environments, if I go with the /ⁿt̪ʼ ᶯʈʼ ᵑkʼ/ plan)
2. V[+high,stressed] > [semivowel] / _V
3. V[+low,stressed] > [semivowel] / _V
(2) and (3) are a new part of the height/stress mess that has developed from the historical tone system, giving the once-three-now-maybe-six-vowel system some interesting variety. The number of phonemic vowels is complex as you can still analyze mid vowels as the allophones of high vowels in either non-initial unstressed positions or stressed positions where there was once a low tone.
If I makes the clicks ejectives, then the affricates will also become ejective forms, with the contrasting stop+fricative clusters becoming the pulmonic affricates. Among other things, this extends the list of possible roots by a bit. How do people feel about the ejective switch, in general? I like /tʼ ʈʼ ɴqʼ/, because I like the uvular just sort of being there, especially as the language otherwise has no nasals - but /kʼ/ is the most common ejective, so I'm probably going to go with /t̪ʼ ʈʼ kʼ/ with (1) and V_V nasalization. Where did the nasals come from? No idea. It's technically intervocalic lenition, since nasals are more sonorous. Thoughts? Suggestions?
The consonant inventory would become:
/t̪ ʈ k~q/
/t̪ʼ~ⁿt̪ʼ ʈʼ~ᶯʈʼ kʼ~ᵑkʼ~qʼ~ɴqʼ/
/s̪ ʂ~ʃ ɬ ç x~χ/
/t̪͡s̪ ʈ͡ʂ t͡ɬ/
/t̪͡s̪ʼ ʈ͡ʂʼ t͡ɬʼ/
Edit: Substituted a string instrument for a French interjection.