Are velarized vowels possible?

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GoshDiggityDangit
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Are velarized vowels possible?

Post by GoshDiggityDangit » 13 Nov 2019 02:09

In a language I made on a plane trip, [*ŋ]>[nˠ]>[nʲ]>[ɲ]. Nasal codas also caused vowels to nasalize, before being lobbed off with the other codas. I was thinking that, along with nasalization, some vowels could have taken velarization from [nˠ]. I know these vowels would also have nasalization, and tone. I just don't know if there is any precedent for this. If I added velarized vowels, the entire inventory of vowel qualities would be:

[o õ õˠ ó ṍ ṍˠ ò õ̀ õ̀ˠ ô õ̂ õ̂ˠ] <o on ong ó ón óng ò òn òng ô ôn ông>
[ɛ ɛ̃ ɛ̃ˠ ɛ́ ɛ̃́ ɛ̃́ˠ ɛ̀ ɛ̃̀ ɛ̃̀ˠ ɛ̂ ɛ̃̂ ɛ̃̂ˠ] <e en eng é én éng è èn èng ê ên êng>
[a ã ãˠ á ã́ ã́ˠ à ã̀ ã̀ˠ â ã̂ ã̂ˠ] <a an ang á án áng à àn àng â ân âng>
Last edited by GoshDiggityDangit on 15 Nov 2019 02:40, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Are velarized vowels possible?

Post by Creyeditor » 13 Nov 2019 18:07

So, the only time I had heard of velarized vowels is the offglide of vowels after velarized consonants in Russian. In these cases the onglide is less rounded and less front than the vowel target, basically approaching [ɨ].
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Re: Are velarized vowels possible?

Post by GoshDiggityDangit » 14 Nov 2019 09:05

So /õˠ/ would probably look more like [ɤ̃ˠ], /ɛ̃ˠ/ more like [ɜ̃ˠ], and /ãˠ/ like [ɐ̃ˠ]?

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Re: Are velarized vowels possible?

Post by Pabappa » 14 Nov 2019 16:21

I would prefer to simply say that velarized vowels do not exist. You can't push /o/ further back, since it's already velar, ... but you could still do some shifts that "feel right" just as languages often do. e.g. English had the Great Vowel Shift which raised almost all long vowels but the ones that were already high instead became /ai au/.
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Re: Are velarized vowels possible?

Post by Creyeditor » 14 Nov 2019 18:48

GoshDiggityDangit wrote:
14 Nov 2019 09:05
So /õˠ/ would probably look more like [ɤ̃ˠ], /ɛ̃ˠ/ more like [ɜ̃ˠ], and /ãˠ/ like [ɐ̃ˠ]?
/õˠ/ would be more like [õ͜ɤ̃ ] and so on if it is the coda consonant that causes velarization.
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Re: Are velarized vowels possible?

Post by sangi39 » 14 Nov 2019 21:46

As with Pabappa, I've never come across "velarised vowels" and would suggest that they probably don't exist, at least in the same way the velarised consonants (consonants pronounced with the back of the tongue raised up towards the velum) do.

However, as Creyeditor points out, vowels can sort of be affected by the presence of velarisation (IIRC, in Russian, front vowels are pronounced further back and slightly lower when adjacent consonants are velarised (while back vowels are fronted/raised when adjacent to palatalised consonants). And in Irish there are onglides and offglides which are dependent on velarisation/patalisation and whether the vowel is front or back, etc.

You could probably have "velarised vowels" in the sense of a fronted/higher vs. backed/lower distinction, independent of secondary articulation on consonants, but they wouldn't actually be "velarised" in the strictest sense (I don't think), so it wouldn't be much more than a handy bit of terminology, but that actually sounds a bit like retracted/advanced tongue root.
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Re: Are velarized vowels possible?

Post by Xonen » 14 Nov 2019 23:30

sangi39 wrote:
14 Nov 2019 21:46
As with Pabappa, I've never come across "velarised vowels" and would suggest that they probably don't exist, at least in the same way the velarised consonants (consonants pronounced with the back of the tongue raised up towards the velum) do.
Right; back vowels are already pronounced with the back of the tongue raised up towards the velum, so it's difficult to imagine what the difference between a velarized vowel and just a regular old back vowel would be.

But sure, there are plenty of ways in which consonant velarization could affect neighboring vowels. For example, English back vowels tend to be somewhat fronted except before a following [ɫ]: too /tu/ [tʰü:] or even [tʰʉ:], but tool /tul/ [tʰu:ɫ]. A similar thing happens in Russian (in addition to the onglides mentioned above); vowel allophones are more back next to non-palatalized consonants. On- and offglides are also used in several other languages, e.g. Irish.

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Re: Are velarized vowels possible?

Post by opipik » 15 Nov 2019 08:43

Some Qiangic languages have uvularized or velarized vowels.

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Re: Are velarized vowels possible?

Post by ɶʙ ɞʛ » 15 Nov 2019 19:13

For me, some vowels can be velarized ([e o ə]), while others cannot ([ɯ u æ]). Some can even be palatalized (e.g. [æ]).

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Re: Are velarized vowels possible?

Post by ɶʙ ɞʛ » 15 Nov 2019 19:15

Pre-velarization is possible for any vowel (cf. Russian, which has /ʲi ʲe ʲæ ʲɵ ʲʉ/ vs /ˠɨ ˠɛ ˠɑ ˠɔ ˠu/, and Irish, with something similar)

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Re: Are velarized vowels possible?

Post by sangi39 » 15 Nov 2019 21:11

opipik wrote:
15 Nov 2019 08:43
Some Qiangic languages have uvularized or velarized vowels.
I'm not sure that's much more than a question of nomenclature, since the name seems to relate to the allophonic process by which vowels are lowered, backed (and slightly derounded in the case of rounded vowels, it seems) when adjacent to or nearby a uvular consonant, with vowel backness seeming to be the major difference. The term seems then to be applied to vowels that show the same features without the presence of a uvular consonant (in this case showing that they're phonemic).

Similar effects happen in Arabic, IIRC, where, in some dialects, the vowels /i u a/ lower and back in the presence of uvular consonants and emphatic consonants (which are sometimes uvularised from what I can remember). Although it looks at though some Qiangic languages have taken the distinction to a phonemic level as opposed to just an allophonic one.
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Re: Are velarized vowels possible?

Post by Creyeditor » 16 Nov 2019 10:57

sangi39 wrote:
15 Nov 2019 21:11
opipik wrote:
15 Nov 2019 08:43
Some Qiangic languages have uvularized or velarized vowels.
I'm not sure that's much more than a question of nomenclature, since the name seems to relate to the allophonic process by which vowels are lowered, backed (and slightly derounded in the case of rounded vowels, it seems) when adjacent to or nearby a uvular consonant, with vowel backness seeming to be the major difference. The term seems then to be applied to vowels that show the same features without the presence of a uvular consonant (in this case showing that they're phonemic).

Similar effects happen in Arabic, IIRC, where, in some dialects, the vowels /i u a/ lower and back in the presence of uvular consonants and emphatic consonants (which are sometimes uvularised from what I can remember). Although it looks at though some Qiangic languages have taken the distinction to a phonemic level as opposed to just an allophonic one.
The Arabic thing is intersting. Uvularization of vowels might also be articulatorily possible. I still think that Arabic "emphatics" are a mistery to many linguists working on them (at least that's what I heard), but if those are uvularized and they affect vowel quality non-locally, this might be a possible interpretation. Acoustically, apart from the first two formants, the third formant is robustly affected, IIRC. This could be a justification for being different from simple lowering/raising or fronting/backing.
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Re: Are velarized vowels possible?

Post by Znex » 18 Nov 2019 06:56

sangi39 wrote:
15 Nov 2019 21:11
Similar effects happen in Arabic, IIRC, where, in some dialects, the vowels /i u a/ lower and back in the presence of uvular consonants and emphatic consonants (which are sometimes uvularised from what I can remember). Although it looks at though some Qiangic languages have taken the distinction to a phonemic level as opposed to just an allophonic one.
I remember reading something about how in Turkic languages (via Islam) this interacted with vowel harmony and effected some interesting changes in the Arabic stratum of loanwords and by extension in the languages themselves. For the life of me if I could only remember where though.
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