more vowel sound changes

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LinguistCat
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more vowel sound changes

Post by LinguistCat » Sat 04 Nov 2017, 20:12

Starting from the vowel inventory /a i ɨ e ɛ o ɔ u/, I was planning to have /a e ɛ/ raise to [æ ɛ ɪ] or there about in certain environments, and keep /i ɨ/ the same, but I'm not sure if I want /o ɔ u/ to raise, unround, front, or do some combo of those. My first thought was to make them [ə ə ʉ] because I eventually want /ɨ~ɯ~u/ to be a thing, influenced by Japanese and some Ryukyuan languages, and I also eventually wanted to have the freedom to turn the schwas into basically whatever felt the most balanced.

Also, I've previously asked about nasal vowels and sound changes that result from those, so I know what direction I want to go with that in particular. But, would the sound change above be able to stop certain vowels from being nasalized, at least in some cases? Should all the resulting vowels from the inventory resulting get nasalized and go on to be altered more later? Are there vowels that cross linguistically are less likely to nasalize, even if the rest of a vowel inventory is nasalizing?

I really just have very poor intuition when it comes to vowels and how they change besides vaguely sliding around the vowel chart. I do intend to reanalyze the results of this whole set of changes into something with about 4-7 vowels, but I want to get my base changes figured out first.
Gordon Daws
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Re: more vowel sound changes

Post by Gordon Daws » Sat 25 Nov 2017, 13:47

I'm not sure if I want /o ɔ u/ to raise, unround, front, or do some combo of those.
It's very unlikely for back rounded vowels to unround unconditionally. I would personally merge /o/ with either one of the other two and then apply further changes. This way you could easily get to [ə ə ʉ]:

/o ɔ u/ -> /ɔ ɔ u/

/ɔ/ -> /ə/

Still a little heavy for my taste, but with some additional shortening or unstressing of /ɔ/ it should be plasusible. Regarding /u/ though, it'd be extremely likely for some other vowel to fill its gap if it were to become [ʉ]. I'd imagine it like this instead:

/o ɔ u/ -> /u ɔ ʉ/ with only /ɔ/ then becoming shwa:

/ɔ/ -> /ə/

/i a u/ are simply spots almost every language wants to have filled out for maximum distinctness.
I eventually want /ɨ~ɯ~u/ to be a thing
Alright. Let's take the former one again

/o ɔ u/ -> /u ɔ ʉ/

/ʉ/ -> /ɯ/

/ɨ ʉ ɯ/ -> /ɨ~ɯ~u/
Are there vowels that cross linguistically are less likely to nasalize, even if the rest of a vowel inventory is nasalizing?
I've seen a video about this just recently. I think it was https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lsNuSFq ... syW3MVsPjf. IIrc nasalized vowels tend to be more central in terms of height so /e o/ instead of /i a u/.
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LinguistCat
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Re: more vowel sound changes

Post by LinguistCat » Sat 25 Nov 2017, 18:18

Thanks for these. In my original post, I hadn't meant for the back roundeds to unround unconditionally; I was implying they were doing whatever they would be doing in the same or similar environments that cause the front vowels to raise. I know I wasn't clear with that though.

I'm still tweaking this stage of the language, so I'd be happy to get other feed back to consider, especially since I've decided there will be two dialects coming from this.
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Omzinesý
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Re: more vowel sound changes

Post by Omzinesý » Fri 01 Dec 2017, 01:48

Voltaire: 'Etymology is a science in which vowels signify nothing at all, and consonants very little'. He is quite right. Vowels change very arbitrarily.

Do you have long vowels or diphthongs? Long vowels 'tend' to be raised.

Check French, English, Saami, and Icelandic vowel chifts.
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