Morphologically relevant stress position change

If you're new to these arts, this is the place to ask "stupid" questions and get directions!
Post Reply
User avatar
Jarhead
cuneiform
cuneiform
Posts: 165
Joined: 28 Oct 2010 20:53

Morphologically relevant stress position change

Post by Jarhead » 03 Nov 2011 02:01

Okay, I couldn't even come up with a title that describes in short what I'm trying to do.
Basically my question is: is the system I wanted to introduce in my language viable / realistically usable / bullshit ? If yes, does it resemble anything you now? If not, why?
The system makes a distinction between tree different lengths of a vowel. Maybe they could be called tones, but I'm not sure this is what tone is about. What I know, is that (i'll use /a/ as an example) they would be pronounced as /a/ versus /'aa/ versus /a'a/ with the change of the stress's place having morphological relevance. Would this system have any major drawbacks? Thank you.
L1: :ita:
Fluent (on a good day): :eng:
Written: :lat:
Beginner: :esp:
Working on: :con: ~ Eil

User avatar
Sankon
sinic
sinic
Posts: 395
Joined: 12 Aug 2010 01:06
Location: At the computer

Re: Morphologically relevant stress position change

Post by Sankon » 03 Nov 2011 02:38

Are you saying that the volume in the middle of a vowel changes?

I would see that degenerate into either plain stress or tone very very quickly.

User avatar
Jarhead
cuneiform
cuneiform
Posts: 165
Joined: 28 Oct 2010 20:53

Re: Morphologically relevant stress position change

Post by Jarhead » 03 Nov 2011 02:49

Maybe what I'm picturing in my mind is exactly what you're talking about, plain stress or tone. I don't want to be original, I'm just trying to find a way to formalize something that sounds good to my ears. How would you describe a tonal system that works like this? Rising vs. Falling tone? Contour? Stress? I'm sorry I'm pretty ignorant on this topic..
L1: :ita:
Fluent (on a good day): :eng:
Written: :lat:
Beginner: :esp:
Working on: :con: ~ Eil

User avatar
cybrxkhan
mayan
mayan
Posts: 1591
Joined: 25 Dec 2010 21:21
Contact:

Re: Morphologically relevant stress position change

Post by cybrxkhan » 03 Nov 2011 03:07

I think I may have proposed something like this before.

Do you mean something like this:

/ka.'ka/ means cow
/'ka.ka/ means volcano

Or perhaps even something more systematic like this (which was what I was having):

/ka.'ka/ means cow
/'ka.ka/ means cows

And so forth.
I now have a blog. Witness the horror.

I think I think, therefore I think I am.
- Ambrose Bierce

User avatar
Ossicone
moderator
moderator
Posts: 3697
Joined: 12 Aug 2010 04:20
Location: I've heard it both ways.
Contact:

Re: Morphologically relevant stress position change

Post by Ossicone » 03 Nov 2011 03:12

:lol: Cyber, did you have to choose kaka?
Because the difference between / 'ka.ka / and / ka.'ka / is quite important.

(I am very immature.)

User avatar
Ceresz
runic
runic
Posts: 2680
Joined: 16 Oct 2010 01:14
Location: North
Contact:

Re: Morphologically relevant stress position change

Post by Ceresz » 03 Nov 2011 03:39

Ossicone wrote::lol: Cyber, did you have to choose kaka?
Because the difference between / 'ka.ka / and / ka.'ka / is quite important.

(I am very immature.)
Yeah, you're not the only one :lol:.

User avatar
Sankon
sinic
sinic
Posts: 395
Joined: 12 Aug 2010 01:06
Location: At the computer

Re: Morphologically relevant stress position change

Post by Sankon » 03 Nov 2011 03:39

I think he means something like /'ka.a/ vs /ka.'a/ except without the syllable boundary.

Am I correct in my assumption?

User avatar
Thakowsaizmu
mongolian
mongolian
Posts: 3821
Joined: 13 Aug 2010 17:57
Contact:

Re: Morphologically relevant stress position change

Post by Thakowsaizmu » 03 Nov 2011 03:46

Sankon wrote:I think he means something like /'ka.a/ vs /ka.'a/ except without the syllable boundary.

Am I correct in my assumption?
Sounds almost more tonal to me

User avatar
Jarhead
cuneiform
cuneiform
Posts: 165
Joined: 28 Oct 2010 20:53

Re: Morphologically relevant stress position change

Post by Jarhead » 03 Nov 2011 04:13

Sankon wrote:I think he means something like /'ka.a/ vs /ka.'a/ except without the syllable boundary.

Am I correct in my assumption?
I'm not sure what a syllable boundary is, nor I could find any article on the web that explained it to me, but it totally sounds like you got my point. (And this makes me think that maybe is not as absurd as I thought it could have been)
L1: :ita:
Fluent (on a good day): :eng:
Written: :lat:
Beginner: :esp:
Working on: :con: ~ Eil

User avatar
Micamo
MVP
MVP
Posts: 7201
Joined: 05 Sep 2010 18:48
Contact:

Re: Morphologically relevant stress position change

Post by Micamo » 03 Nov 2011 10:45

As far as I can come to understand them, syllables are more abstractions used in phonotactics than they are phonetic phenomenon. Syllable boundaries show up in the area of phonological transformations of words, not in their phonetic rendering.

For example, a word like "sutra" could be analyzed as either "sut.ra" or "su.tra". Which one is correct can't1 be obtained from the phonetic pronunciations of each one. Where you'd have to look is in morphology: Affixation, Infixation, and Gradation/Ablaut may care about a syllable boundary even where the phonetics doesn't.

[1] Except possibly in prosody: If codas play a role in syllable weight, then the words will have different stress patterns. But then there's the issue of whether prosody should be considered a part of a word's phonetic content or something extra applied onto it later. I tend to lean onto the latter explanation but I don't know nearly enough about the topic to give much in the way of evidence for this.

(Lookat me ma, I'm writing posts on topics complex enough to need footnotes!)
My pronouns are <xe> [ziː] / <xym> [zɪm] / <xys> [zɪz]

My shitty twitter

User avatar
Sankon
sinic
sinic
Posts: 395
Joined: 12 Aug 2010 01:06
Location: At the computer

Re: Morphologically relevant stress position change

Post by Sankon » 03 Nov 2011 12:21

Jarhead wrote:
Sankon wrote:I think he means something like /'ka.a/ vs /ka.'a/ except without the syllable boundary.

Am I correct in my assumption?
I'm not sure what a syllable boundary is, nor I could find any article on the web that explained it to me, but it totally sounds like you got my point. (And this makes me think that maybe is not as absurd as I thought it could have been)
Then yeah, that would very very very quickly degenerate into plain stress (maybe something to do with syllable weight?), tone, or maybe diphthongs (if vowels centralize or something based on stress).

User avatar
Jarhead
cuneiform
cuneiform
Posts: 165
Joined: 28 Oct 2010 20:53

Re: Morphologically relevant stress position change

Post by Jarhead » 04 Nov 2011 13:24

Micamo wrote:As far as I can come to understand them, syllables are more abstractions used in phonotactics than they are phonetic phenomenon. Syllable boundaries show up in the area of phonological transformations of words, not in their phonetic rendering.

For example, a word like "sutra" could be analyzed as either "sut.ra" or "su.tra". Which one is correct can't1 be obtained from the phonetic pronunciations of each one. Where you'd have to look is in morphology: Affixation, Infixation, and Gradation/Ablaut may care about a syllable boundary even where the phonetics doesn't.

[1] Except possibly in prosody: If codas play a role in syllable weight, then the words will have different stress patterns. But then there's the issue of whether prosody should be considered a part of a word's phonetic content or something extra applied onto it later. I tend to lean onto the latter explanation but I don't know nearly enough about the topic to give much in the way of evidence for this.

(Lookat me ma, I'm writing posts on topics complex enough to need footnotes!)
Thanks for that. And congrats for your footnote!

Edit: Sankon, your mentioning of diphthongs prompted me to look them up on wikipedia, so I found out about rising and falling diphthongs. Would you say that that would be an appropriate description of my system?
L1: :ita:
Fluent (on a good day): :eng:
Written: :lat:
Beginner: :esp:
Working on: :con: ~ Eil

User avatar
Sankon
sinic
sinic
Posts: 395
Joined: 12 Aug 2010 01:06
Location: At the computer

Re: Morphologically relevant stress position change

Post by Sankon » 04 Nov 2011 22:17

Jarhead wrote:
Micamo wrote:As far as I can come to understand them, syllables are more abstractions used in phonotactics than they are phonetic phenomenon. Syllable boundaries show up in the area of phonological transformations of words, not in their phonetic rendering.

For example, a word like "sutra" could be analyzed as either "sut.ra" or "su.tra". Which one is correct can't1 be obtained from the phonetic pronunciations of each one. Where you'd have to look is in morphology: Affixation, Infixation, and Gradation/Ablaut may care about a syllable boundary even where the phonetics doesn't.

[1] Except possibly in prosody: If codas play a role in syllable weight, then the words will have different stress patterns. But then there's the issue of whether prosody should be considered a part of a word's phonetic content or something extra applied onto it later. I tend to lean onto the latter explanation but I don't know nearly enough about the topic to give much in the way of evidence for this.

(Lookat me ma, I'm writing posts on topics complex enough to need footnotes!)
Thanks for that. And congrats for your footnote!

Edit: Sankon, your mentioning of diphthongs prompted me to look them up on wikipedia, so I found out about rising and falling diphthongs. Would you say that that would be an appropriate description of my system?
No, rising and falling diphthongs refers to the position of the vowels on the vowel chart: for example, /ai/ is a rising diphthong because /a/ is lower than /i/: hence it rises. /ua/ is thus a falling diphthong because /a/ is lower than /u/.

The reason I mentioned diphthongs is because in some languages unstressed vowels are pronounced differently (like in English, but it' s a lot more complicated in English). So something phonemically /ka'a/ might be pronounced [ke'a] (if unstressed /a/ becomes [e]), and might eventually turn into /ke̯a/ (the curve underneath the e means that it is not syllabic), a falling diphthong.

User avatar
Jarhead
cuneiform
cuneiform
Posts: 165
Joined: 28 Oct 2010 20:53

Re: Morphologically relevant stress position change

Post by Jarhead » 05 Nov 2011 05:34

Sankon wrote: No, rising and falling diphthongs refers to the position of the vowels on the vowel chart: for example, /ai/ is a rising diphthong because /a/ is lower than /i/: hence it rises. /ua/ is thus a falling diphthong because /a/ is lower than /u/.

The reason I mentioned diphthongs is because in some languages unstressed vowels are pronounced differently (like in English, but it' s a lot more complicated in English). So something phonemically /ka'a/ might be pronounced [ke'a] (if unstressed /a/ becomes [e]), and might eventually turn into /ke̯a/ (the curve underneath the e means that it is not syllabic), a falling diphthong.
Could my idea be translated into short vs. "finally stressed" diphtongs, like in Nortnern Sami, of which I just read?
I'm trying to be as deep as possible on this topic because if it looks too complicated eventually I can just drop it.
L1: :ita:
Fluent (on a good day): :eng:
Written: :lat:
Beginner: :esp:
Working on: :con: ~ Eil

User avatar
Sankon
sinic
sinic
Posts: 395
Joined: 12 Aug 2010 01:06
Location: At the computer

Re: Morphologically relevant stress position change

Post by Sankon » 05 Nov 2011 08:08

Jarhead wrote:
Sankon wrote: No, rising and falling diphthongs refers to the position of the vowels on the vowel chart: for example, /ai/ is a rising diphthong because /a/ is lower than /i/: hence it rises. /ua/ is thus a falling diphthong because /a/ is lower than /u/.

The reason I mentioned diphthongs is because in some languages unstressed vowels are pronounced differently (like in English, but it' s a lot more complicated in English). So something phonemically /ka'a/ might be pronounced [ke'a] (if unstressed /a/ becomes [e]), and might eventually turn into /ke̯a/ (the curve underneath the e means that it is not syllabic), a falling diphthong.
Could my idea be translated into short vs. "finally stressed" diphtongs, like in Nortnern Sami, of which I just read?
I'm trying to be as deep as possible on this topic because if it looks too complicated eventually I can just drop it.
and BAM i'm an idiot sorry shows me right for not proofreading

I wasn't thinking: ignore what I said about falling vs. rising diphthongs: it's all wrong. I described the difference between opening and closing diphthongs. In opening diphthongs the second element is in a more open position, like /a/, so /ia/ would be an opening diphthong, and in closing diphthongs the second element is in a more closed position, like /i/, so /ai/ would be an opening diphthong. There are also height-harmonic diphthongs, where the two elements are the at the same height, like Old English /eo/ and /æɑ/.

Falling and rising refers to the prominence (whether of pitch or volume) of an element of a diphthong. English /aɪ/ is a falling diphthong because the /a/ is in some way "more important" than the /a/; the /ɪ/ is almost like a semivowel (but the problem with interpreting falling diphthongs as vowel+semivowel is that some languages distinguish between falling diphthongs and combinations of vowel+semivowel). In rising diphthongs, the second element is more prominent than the first (English doesn't have these). An example of a rising diphthong is Romanian /ea/. The /a/ is more prominent.

Now when I say "volume" as a characteristic of "prominence" (which is a very loosely defined term), I am not referring to stress. While diphthongs often do affect stress patterns (because some languages place stress based on syllable weight and diphthongs are often "heavier" than other vowels), in languages with fixed stress or no stress, diphthongs (despite maybe having a slight difference in volume during the diphthong) do not interfere with stress. In other words, the volume change that may be present in the elements of a diphthong is not large enough to affect stress, most of that time. And when it does affect the stress, the whole diphthong is stressed, as opposed to one element.

Sami "finally stressed" diphthongs only refers to having three lengths of diphthongs (like vowel length) in some grammars. Northern Sami apparently distinguishes between /ĕa ea eea/, not a different placement of stress during the diphthong itself.

So, I have never seen a system like yours, where stress is placed on a different element of a diphthong. In fact, that seems rather impossible, because then the stress would be occurring in the middle of a syllable, and stress usually occurs on a whole of a syllable. However, if you merely have two vowels in hiatus (no diphthong), different syllables, they can be stressed differently with no problem of justification (/e.'a/ versus /'e.a/). However, even that would be unstable.

Unless you aren't actually referring to stress, but a mere volume change, in which case you are talking about falling and rising diphthongs.

Sorry for the wall of text (I usually write less) and for the mistake I made in terminology.

User avatar
Jarhead
cuneiform
cuneiform
Posts: 165
Joined: 28 Oct 2010 20:53

Re: Morphologically relevant stress position change

Post by Jarhead » 05 Nov 2011 19:09

Sankon wrote:
Jarhead wrote:
Sankon wrote: No, rising and falling diphthongs refers to the position of the vowels on the vowel chart: for example, /ai/ is a rising diphthong because /a/ is lower than /i/: hence it rises. /ua/ is thus a falling diphthong because /a/ is lower than /u/.

The reason I mentioned diphthongs is because in some languages unstressed vowels are pronounced differently (like in English, but it' s a lot more complicated in English). So something phonemically /ka'a/ might be pronounced [ke'a] (if unstressed /a/ becomes [e]), and might eventually turn into /ke̯a/ (the curve underneath the e means that it is not syllabic), a falling diphthong.
Could my idea be translated into short vs. "finally stressed" diphtongs, like in Nortnern Sami, of which I just read?
I'm trying to be as deep as possible on this topic because if it looks too complicated eventually I can just drop it.
and BAM i'm an idiot sorry shows me right for not proofreading

I wasn't thinking: ignore what I said about falling vs. rising diphthongs: it's all wrong. I described the difference between opening and closing diphthongs. In opening diphthongs the second element is in a more open position, like /a/, so /ia/ would be an opening diphthong, and in closing diphthongs the second element is in a more closed position, like /i/, so /ai/ would be an opening diphthong. There are also height-harmonic diphthongs, where the two elements are the at the same height, like Old English /eo/ and /æɑ/.

Falling and rising refers to the prominence (whether of pitch or volume) of an element of a diphthong. English /aɪ/ is a falling diphthong because the /a/ is in some way "more important" than the /a/; the /ɪ/ is almost like a semivowel (but the problem with interpreting falling diphthongs as vowel+semivowel is that some languages distinguish between falling diphthongs and combinations of vowel+semivowel). In rising diphthongs, the second element is more prominent than the first (English doesn't have these). An example of a rising diphthong is Romanian /ea/. The /a/ is more prominent.

Now when I say "volume" as a characteristic of "prominence" (which is a very loosely defined term), I am not referring to stress. While diphthongs often do affect stress patterns (because some languages place stress based on syllable weight and diphthongs are often "heavier" than other vowels), in languages with fixed stress or no stress, diphthongs (despite maybe having a slight difference in volume during the diphthong) do not interfere with stress. In other words, the volume change that may be present in the elements of a diphthong is not large enough to affect stress, most of that time. And when it does affect the stress, the whole diphthong is stressed, as opposed to one element.

Sami "finally stressed" diphthongs only refers to having three lengths of diphthongs (like vowel length) in some grammars. Northern Sami apparently distinguishes between /ĕa ea eea/, not a different placement of stress during the diphthong itself.

So, I have never seen a system like yours, where stress is placed on a different element of a diphthong. In fact, that seems rather impossible, because then the stress would be occurring in the middle of a syllable, and stress usually occurs on a whole of a syllable. However, if you merely have two vowels in hiatus (no diphthong), different syllables, they can be stressed differently with no problem of justification (/e.'a/ versus /'e.a/). However, even that would be unstable.

Unless you aren't actually referring to stress, but a mere volume change, in which case you are talking about falling and rising diphthongs.

Sorry for the wall of text (I usually write less) and for the mistake I made in terminology.
Please, don't be sorry, because you are helping me a lot and giving me great advice. Thank you for all the time you obviously put in explaining this.
Considering your last explanation and the fact that you told me you've never seen anything like this, I think I'll probably drop the current system in favor of something more conventional. Again, I'd like to thank you for using your experience to help me.
L1: :ita:
Fluent (on a good day): :eng:
Written: :lat:
Beginner: :esp:
Working on: :con: ~ Eil

xijlwya
sinic
sinic
Posts: 286
Joined: 01 Sep 2010 14:55
Contact:

Re: Morphologically relevant stress position change

Post by xijlwya » 06 Nov 2011 20:22

Jarhead wrote:Please, don't be sorry, because you are helping me a lot and giving me great advice. Thank you for all the time you obviously put in explaining this.
Considering your last explanation and the fact that you told me you've never seen anything like this, I think I'll probably drop the current system in favor of something more conventional. Again, I'd like to thank you for using your experience to help me.
To be honest, I won't drop it. I can imagine that it's just your terminology that may be a little unclear. Just because you cannot describe it properly doesn't mean it makes no sense. Remember: The terminology serves to describe and is in that always vague. Maybe you're skidding the edges of it with your idea, but if you ask me it'S a rather cool idea. I guess no language can be pronounced correctly only from reading IPA transcriptions. Though it is a very sophisticated system, it's cannot capture human's capability to produce an endless amount of sounds.

User avatar
Jarhead
cuneiform
cuneiform
Posts: 165
Joined: 28 Oct 2010 20:53

Re: Morphologically relevant stress position change

Post by Jarhead » 07 Nov 2011 02:05

Well thank you. Your post was actually very motivating. You'll be in the credits of my language, when it's finished [:D]
L1: :ita:
Fluent (on a good day): :eng:
Written: :lat:
Beginner: :esp:
Working on: :con: ~ Eil

User avatar
Jádyndár
rupestrian
rupestrian
Posts: 18
Joined: 22 Oct 2011 05:09
Location: In the aviary, studying trees

Re: Morphologically relevant stress position change

Post by Jádyndár » 07 Nov 2011 03:54

If I'm understanding your OP correctly, then there are two possibilities for what your system really is.

When you speak your conlang, does your voice always go up (in pitch) on stressed syllables? If so, I'd call that tone. If your voice only goes up on some stressed syllables, however, I'd call that a pair of vowels in hiatus, which would probably turn into long stressed vowels.
Native: :usa:
Proficient: :ita:
Limited knowledge: :ell: (Ancient) :jpn: :deu: :esp: :fra: :heb: :lat: :ara: :cab:
Creator of: :con: Gomain
Resident of: :cali:

Post Reply