/pʰ tʰ ʈʰ kʰ/ <p t ṭ k>
/p t ʈʰ k ʔ/ <b d ḍ g q>
/s ʂ h/ <s ṣ h>
/m n/ <m n>
/r l/ <r l>
/w j/ <w j>
/i u/ <i u>
/m n r l/ <ṃ ṇ ṛ ḷ>
Where derive from a syllabic /j w ʔ/, <ị ụ ạ> are used instead.
[e o ə] are written <e o ë> , except when [ə] derives from syllabic /h/, where it is written <ẹ>
(s)C(r, l, w, j)V(p, t, k, ʔ, s, h, m, n, r, l, w, j)
If C is followed by another sound, it cannot be one of /r l w j/
If C is preceded by /s/, it cannot itself be /s/
Ablaut and Stress
Stress and ablaut interact with each other, causing certain sounds to reduce in certain environments.
The placement of stress is somewhat complex, but largely relies on interactions between underlying stress of morphemes, i.e. some morphemes are stressed, while others are not.
a) Monosyllabic morphemes are either unstressed or stressed.
b) Polysyllabic morphemes are stressed on the final syllable, unless the penultimate syllable is heavier, in which case stress moves backwards.
c) If two or more syllables within a fully formed word are stressed, the rightmost syllable receives primary or “strong” stress on the phonetic level.
d) Other stressed syllables receive secondary or “weak” stress, unless adjacent to the fully stressed syllable, in which case they are unstressed.
e) If no syllable is stressed within a fully formed word, then the final syllable is stressed, unless the penultimate syllable is heavier, in which case stress moves backwards.
a) Strongly stressed /i u a/ are realised as in closed syllables and [i: u: a:] in open syllables.
b) Weakly stressed /i u a/ are realised as [e o ə].
c) Unstressed /i u a/ are realised as either [ə] (when followed by a tautosyllabic plosive or /s/) or  (when followed by any other sound).
d) Syllabic instances of /j w ʔ h/ are realised as [i u a ə].
A note regarding the final point, is that only post-vocalic /j w ʔ h m n r l/ can become syllablic, so, for instance instressed /kju/ would become [kjə], not [ki] and likewise unstressed /nwin/ would become [nwṇ], not [nun].
When two aspirated plosives appear as the onset of two adjacent syllables, the right-hand one causes the left-hand one to de-aspirate, e.g. /kʰatʰu/ > [katʰu]. This process is regressive, so de-aspiration amongst a group of three aspirated plosives will affect the middle on, and the first and third in a group of four and so on and so on.
Coda nasals, but not syllabic nasals, assimilate to the POA of a following plosive onset.
When /s l r n t/ directly precede either /ʈ/, /ʈʰ/ or /ʂ/, they in turn become retroflex [ʂ ɭ ɽ ɳ ʈ]
Similarly, if /r l/ directly follow /ʈ/, /ʈʰ/ or /ʂ/, they become retroflex [ɽ ɭ]
This assimilation process does not affect syllable sounds.
Vowel clusters are handled after stress and ablaut have taken place, meaning that, realistically speaking, if two vowels appear together, one will be a weakly stressed vowel, [e o ə], or an unstressed syllabic vowel, while the other will be a strongly stressed. vowel, .
Code: Select all
[i]- [u]- [a]- -[i] [i:] [uj] [aj] -[u] [iw] [u:] [aw] -[a] [iʔ] [uʔ] [a:] -[e] [i:] [uj] [aj] -[o] [iw] [u:] [aw] -[ə] [ih] [uh] [ah] -[m] [im] [um] [am] -[n] [in] [un] [an] -[r] [ir] [ur] [ar] -[l] [il] [ul] [al] [i]- [u]- [a]- [e]- [o]- [ə]- [m]- [n]- [r]- [l]- -[i] [i:] [uj] [aj] [ej] [oj] [əj] [ṃmi] [ṇni] [ṛri] [ḷli] -[u] [iw] [u:] [aw] [ew] [ow] [əw] [ṃmu] [ṇnu] [ṛru] [ḷlu] -[a] [iʔ] [uʔ] [a:] [eʔ] [oʔ] [əʔ] [ṃma] [ṇna] [ṛra] [ḷla]
When a strong vowel is preceded by an unstressed or weakly stressed vowel, on the other hand, stress shifts backwards to the unstressed or weakly stressed vowel, which maintains its quality, causing the stressed vowel to become non-syllabic, shifting to its consonantal counterpart.*
The exception to this final rule involves syllabic /m n r l/, which when followed by a stressed vowel, remain unstressed an syllabic, as does the stressed vowel, but takes an epenthetic non-syllabic consonant which appears between the two vowels.
I'll try and add some examples regarding stress and ablaut as I go along. Right now it's more at an idea stage.
*One thing I've noticed about this is that it allows all vowels to appear in phonetically stressed syllables (except syllabic /m n r l/). I'll likely still describe everything beyond /i u a/ as allophonic, since their appearance is conditioned, but it's a lot more complicated than I'd originally thought it would be.