Ælfwine wrote: ↑18 Sep 2019 02:42I'll answer this. Most of these changes seem "reasonable" to me, as vowels can literally do almost anything (compared to consonants at least.) Generally though, vowels are motivated by chain shifts: movement in one area of the vowel space can cause movement of others. Nonetheless, none of this looks unreasonable, except perhaps the lower vowel space would seem crowded with /æː/, /aː/ and /ɒː/ with what you already have (but again, vowels do not need to be perfectly aligned.)Is it possible that:
ɵ > o next to velars or labials (uvulars, retroflexes will have already forced /ɵ/ to back to /o/)
ɵ > ø > e otherwise.
a: > æ:
ɑ > ɒ
a a: ɒ: appear from later sound changes.
Should I delete word final schwa in my Crimean Gothic conlang?
A bit of background: the Crimean Gothic language (not the conlang) had likely reduce most of Biblical Gothic's unstressed vowels to schwa (to the point were the former can be derived from the latter) by the 16th century. Currently, I keep schwa and write it as <ъ>. An exception to this is the combination /jə/, which is written with the "small yer" <ь>.
Now, I want to innovate an allophonic soft-hard contrast, sort of like in Russian, mostly under influence from Russian through its loanwords. This would be a fairly recent change in the language, perhaps only two centuries ago, around the same time I plan to delete schwa. Besides loanwords, I could also palatalize consonants preceding schwa if there is a /j/ phoneme between them: an example of this kind of word is the name for the peninsula itself, кримь (currently: [ˈkʰrimjə]) to [ˈkʰriːmʲ] with deletion of the schwa and glide, and palatalization of the previous consonant. Someone in discord remarked that this is fairly similar to the state of affairs in Romanian, which I like because Romania is a close neighbor of Crimea and the Ukraine.
I am somewhat worried though this would ruin some of my grammar, as currently the strong feminine and neuter stems are distinguished in number and partially case by a final schwa (there written <е> as I haven't updated it to reflect the change to yer), though I suspect voicing might still be a distinguishing feature, at least among plosives.
So what do we think? Kill the schwa?
i have two questions:
1) does the schwa occur only word-finally? If it occurs elsewhere, would you also delete it there?
2) Does this language allophonically palatalize all vowels before /i/? Ive heard it said that that's how Romanian got the way it did, but it may not be necessary to do this if your language already has preexisting /jə/ sequences.