I need more phonemes!!! Help!

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Taurenzine
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I need more phonemes!!! Help!

Post by Taurenzine » 14 Jan 2018 02:54

so I'm making a language duh
I decided to cut voiced plosives and fricatives they're a pain in the ass
now I don't have enough sounds so like what do I do
https://imgur.com/a/UwceA

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kiwikami
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Re: I need more phonemes!!! Help!

Post by kiwikami » 14 Jan 2018 04:12

Well, as far as phoneme inventories go, yours is far from the smallest. (See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rotokas_language or https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hawaiian_phonology). So I wouldn't say you don't have enough sounds! But if you want more phonemes, perhaps add another kind of contrast? Aspirated/unaspirated phonation for the stops, perhaps. A glottal stop. A palatal or retroflex stop series. Laterals. Affricates (/tʃ/ makes a good deal of sense given that you have /ʃ/; it could contrast with /ts/).
Edit: Substituted a string instrument for a French interjection.

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DesEsseintes
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Re: I need more phonemes!!! Help!

Post by DesEsseintes » 14 Jan 2018 05:16

You have no less than 12 consonants, which is plenty. I wouldn’t add too much as I think it looks quite nice as it is, but if you feel the need, all of Kiwikami’s suggestions are spot on. The glottal stop especially would make this very attractive to me.

Note that complex phonotactics could make this an interesting inventory. Are clusters like /kf ʃpʃ/ permitted? One of the ‘mistakes’ I made as a beginner was being too afraid of clusters and using CV(C) for many of my langs, which left me feeling my langs were flat and lifeless.

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Taurenzine
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Re: I need more phonemes!!! Help!

Post by Taurenzine » 14 Jan 2018 17:38

kiwikami wrote:
14 Jan 2018 04:12
Well, as far as phoneme inventories go, yours is far from the smallest. (See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rotokas_language or https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hawaiian_phonology). So I wouldn't say you don't have enough sounds! But if you want more phonemes, perhaps add another kind of contrast? Aspirated/unaspirated phonation for the stops, perhaps. A glottal stop. A palatal or retroflex stop series. Laterals. Affricates (/tʃ/ makes a good deal of sense given that you have /ʃ/; it could contrast with /ts/).
Aspirated! very nice... thank you!

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gestaltist
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Re: I need more phonemes!!! Help!

Post by gestaltist » 14 Jan 2018 21:10

DesEsseintes wrote:
14 Jan 2018 05:16
You have no less than 12 consonants, which is plenty. I wouldn’t add too much as I think it looks quite nice as it is, but if you feel the need, all of Kiwikami’s suggestions are spot on. The glottal stop especially would make this very attractive to me.

Note that complex phonotactics could make this an interesting inventory. Are clusters like /kf ʃpʃ/ permitted? One of the ‘mistakes’ I made as a beginner was being too afraid of clusters and using CV(C) for many of my langs, which left me feeling my langs were flat and lifeless.
Which doesn't mean to say you can't have a nice CVC language. I think the smaller your inventory, the more you have to think about allophony and morphophonology if you want to make things feel alive. It doesn't necessarily mean you have to have complex clusters. You can just as well have apophony, elisions, metathesis, and all sorts of other wonderful stuff.

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