A language with subtractive morphology (eventually)

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Linguifex
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A language with subtractive morphology (eventually)

Post by Linguifex » 19 Feb 2016 10:44

Reposted from the Random phonology/phonemic inventory thread:
I wrote:Adapted from gleb seed gleb 1722443204:

/m n/
/t k ʔ/
/ɸ s x/
/ɾ/

/u o ɔ a œ ø y ɛ e i/

Syllable structure is (C)V(X)(C), where X is one of /m n s x ɾ/.

I'm thinking about turning this into a protolang for a language with subtractive morphology. At least one of the stops, if not all of them, delete when V_V#, then final vowels drop after another vowel, so with a consonant-final root with a suffix that is a single vowel is added, the final CV sequence ends up dropping (unless I turn the high vowels into glides in this position and have the mid and low vowels drop, which would allow me a bit more variation in the suffixes). If I have certain of the consonants drop in the coda after that, this might be even more interesting. Something like:

*kat > kat
*kat-e > *kae > ka
*kat-i > *kai > kaj
I'm thinking I'm going to allow all consonants except *ɾ to be geminate as well, and expand the consonant-dropping I described earlier to include the sequence I described as "X" earlier + stop, so the rule is:

*S > Ø / V(X)_V#

Followed by:

*V[+ high] > C[+ glide] / V_#
*V[- high] > Ø / V_#

Examples:
*ʔaxt > ʔaxt
*ʔaxt-e > ʔaxe
*ʔaxt-i > ʔaxi

*axV > Vː
*k *x > p ɸ / _V[+ round]
*k *x > tʃ ʃ / _E
*k *x > ʔ h
*Vh > Vː / ! _V
*oː *øː *eː > ɔːʊ œːʏ ɛːɪ
*o *ø *e > ɔʊ œʏ ɛɪ

Examples:
*ʔaxt > ʔaːt
*ʔaxt-e > ʔaxe > ʔeː > ʔɛːɪ
*ʔaxt-i > ʔaxi > ʔiː

I kind of like the alternation these changes set up.

*VF > Vː / _C

*xasɸɔ > haːɸɔ
*xesxɔ > ʃɛɪɸɔ
*xastɔ > hasɔ
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HoskhMatriarch
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Re: A language with subtractive morphology (eventually)

Post by HoskhMatriarch » 20 Feb 2016 06:36

That has to be one of the weirdest phonologies I have seen. No natural language has more vowels than consonants and why is there /ɸ/ but not /p/?
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Re: A language with subtractive morphology (eventually)

Post by Sumelic » 20 Feb 2016 06:50

HoskhMatriarch wrote:That has to be one of the weirdest phonologies I have seen. No natural language has more vowels than consonants and why is there /ɸ/ but not /p/?
The first part of your sentence sounds plausible (although I don't remember hearing that universal), but is /ɸ/ and no /p/ really that weird? It's quite similar to Arabic's /f/ but no /p/, and I got the impression that there is more than one other language like this. Maybe [p] is an allophone of [ɸ] after other consonants or something like that. It's definitely unusual, but I wouldn't put it in the class of "one of the weirdest things a phonology could do." I'd reserve that for things like having no voiceless stops (Yidiny), or having no phonetic nasals.

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Re: A language with subtractive morphology (eventually)

Post by Thrice Xandvii » 20 Feb 2016 09:30

I'm making a language derived from Japanese with no phonetic nasal(ization). Dŭhog, in my sig...
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Re: A language with subtractive morphology (eventually)

Post by Ephraim » 20 Feb 2016 13:11

I don't see any reason why a language couldn't have more vowel phonemes than consonant phonemes. If you count long and/or nasalized vowels separately, it's not hard to find examples. If you include diphthongs, I would't be surprised if there are some varieties of English that would qualify.

If you only count pure vowel quality, it is hard to find languages with more vowels than consonants, though. But the smallest consonant inventory (6 in Central Rotokas) is smaller than the largest vowel quality inventory (Standard Danish reportedly has 15 short vowels) and I don't see why there couldn't be some language that has both extremes, it may just be statistically very unlikely since very small consonant inventories and very large vowel inventories are themselves very rare.

Andoke has 10 consonants (11 according to UPSID) and 9 vowel qualities (there are 9 oral and 6 nasal vowels), according to WALS, so it's definitely close. If Andoke were to lose two consonants through sound changes, I don't think there would be any phonological pressure to also lose two vowel qualities just to maintain the balance.
http://wals.info/chapter/3
http://web.phonetik.uni-frankfurt.de/L/L6851.html

———

/ɸ/ but not /p/ (or [ɸ] but not [p]) is not that strange. It is relatively common for [p] to shift unconditionally to a fricative to leave the language without [p] (Arabic is an example, as mentioned above), and there are languages lacking bilabials entirely. I can't think of a language with [ɸ] or [f] but with no bilabial stops at all (not a voiced one either) but there is probably such a language.

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Re: A language with subtractive morphology (eventually)

Post by Creyeditor » 20 Feb 2016 21:05

I'm actually interested in the subtractive morphology. I think I might be able to give you some examples from natlangs, if you want to.
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Re: A language with subtractive morphology (eventually)

Post by cromulant » 21 Feb 2016 05:37

HoskhMatriarch wrote:No natural language has more vowels than consonants
not a reason not to do it An excellent reason to do it.

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Re: A language with subtractive morphology (eventually)

Post by Dezinaa » 21 Feb 2016 06:27

I like the phonology and the sound changes are interesting, too.

cromulant wrote:
HoskhMatriarch wrote:No natural language has more vowels than consonants
not a reason not to do it An excellent reason to do it.
There's a language called Iau that has 6 consonants, 8 plain vowels, 11 diphthongs, and 2 triphthongs.

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Linguifex
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Re: A language with subtractive morphology (eventually)

Post by Linguifex » 07 Jan 2017 09:45

Verbal morphology

1SG *-ny
2SG *-e
3SG *-Ø
1PL *-u
2PL *-i
3PL *-uɾ

*takat > taʔat-, taʔa-

*takatny > taʔatny
*takate > taʔa
*takat > taʔat
*takatu > taʔaʊ
*takati > taʔaɪ
*takatuɾ > taʔatuɾ

*pɛk > pɛʔ-, pɛ-

*pɛkny > pɛʔny
*pɛke > pɛ
*pɛk > pɛʔ
*pɛku > pɛʊ
*pɛki > pɛɪ
*pɛkuɾ > pɛpuɾ

*mut > mut-, mu-

*mutny > mutny
*mute > mu
*mut > mut
*mutu > mu
*muti > muɪ
*mutuɾ > mutuɾ

*must > muːt-, mus-

*mustny > muːtny
*muste > musɛɪ
*must > muːt
*mustu > musu
*musti > musi
*mustuɾ > muːtuɾ

*døxt > dœːʏt-, dœʏʃ-

*døxtny > dœːʏtny
*døxte > dœʏʃɛɪ
*døxt > dœːʏt
*døxtu > dœʏɸu
*døxti > dœʏʃi
*døxtuɾ > dœːʏtuɾ

I really like how these last two turned out.

Pronouns

*kɛs > tʃɛs
*myɾ > myɾ
*tu > tu
*ko > pɔʊ
*kaxa > ʔaː
*timi > timi

The three statuses

Status rectus *-Ø > -Ø

The status rectus is the usual form of a noun.

*kɛʔi 'man' > ʔɛ
*mœk 'house' > mœʔ

Status constructus *-(t)ɔ > -X-Ø/-(t)ɔ

The status constructus occurs when in a genitive construction.

*kɛʔi-tɔ ø int 'a man of the people' > ʔɛʔi œʏ int
*mœk-ɔ ø int 'a house of the people' > mœ œʏ int

Status absolutus *V-xu/*C-i > -ɸu/-uː / X-ɪ/-i

The status absolutus is used for predicate nominals and delineated quantities, such as measurements or inventories.

*tu kɛʔi-xu 'he is a man' > tu ʔɛʔiː
*tu mœk-i 'it is a house' > tu mœɪ

*tark ~ tarkɔ ~ tarki > tarʔ ~ tarɔ ~ tari
*task ~ taskɔ ~ taski > tasʔ ~ tasɔ ~ tasi
*pɔk ~ pɔkɔ ~ pɔki > pɔʔ ~ pɔ ~ pɔɪ
*mɛs ~ mɛsɔ ~ mɛsi > mɛs ~ mɛsɔ ~ mɛsi
*ɛkre ~ ɛkreɔ ~ ɛkrei > ɛʔrɛɪ ~ ɛʔrɛɪ ~ ɛʔrɛɪ
*ta ~ taɔ ~ taxu > ta ~ ta ~ tuː

Numbers

Numbers do not decline for status.

*tekax > tɛɪʔaː
*uxaʔ > uhaʔ
*xœ > ɸœ
*tɛɸ > tɛɸ
*yɸ > yɸ
*ɾax > ɾaː
*ɾaxtekax > ɾaːtɛɪʔaː
*ɾaxuxaʔ > ɾuːhaʔ
*ɾaxœ > ɾœː
*ɾaxtɛɸ > ɾaːtɛɸ
*ɾaxyɸ > ɾyːɸ
*uxaʔɾax > uhaʔɾaː
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Re: A language with subtractive morphology (eventually)

Post by Frislander » 07 Jan 2017 16:10

Dezinaa wrote:I like the phonology and the sound changes are interesting, too.

cromulant wrote:
HoskhMatriarch wrote:No natural language has more vowels than consonants
not a reason not to do it An excellent reason to do it.
There's a language called Iau that has 6 consonants, 8 plain vowels, 11 diphthongs, and 2 triphthongs.
O Iau, where would we be without you? You've also forgotten to mention all the tones!

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