Sangfroidish wrote:- */pˠ fˠ mˠ/ > /kʷ xʷ ŋʷ/ disclaimer: I have no idea whether random inversion of primary and secondary articulations is a thing
Although I could be wrong, I don't think the random, sudden inversion of primary and secondary articulations is a valid/naturalistic sound change. However, this doesn't mean that velarized labials > labialized velars is impossible.
You could have the velarization "drag" the labials farther back in the mouth, making them velars, but then have the velars become labialized due to the fact that they were just labials. Although that still sounds like a stretch to me.
I think any way you go about this, you're going to have to do some diachronic gymnastics. Perhaps for a short period of time between the protolang and modern Vorinthel, all vowels would become unrounded, */i u ũ e o õ æ ɑ ɑ̃/ > */i ɯ ɯ̃ e ɤ ɤ̃ æ ɑ ɑ̃/. After labials and velarized labials, however, these vowels become semi-rounded, */iᵝ ɯᵝ ɯ̃ᵝ eᵝ ɤᵝ ɤ̃ᵝ æᵝ ɑᵝ ɑ̃ᵝ/. A little after this unrounding takes place, the velarized labials become true velars. For some reason, perhaps it's the fact that they were recently labials, the velars that came from velarized labials become pick up labialization from the following vowels. After this, all high and mid back vowels become rounded again, since that seems to be somewhat of a default for that kind of vowel.
Just some ideas. Like I said, diachronic gymnastics.
Sangfroidish wrote:- */z/ > /s/
I could be overlooking something, but doesn't modern Vorinthel lack /s/? What happened to it?
Sangfroidish wrote:- elision of */h/; phonemic voiceless sonorants arise from removal of */h/ from the sequences */hm hmˠ hn hŋ hl hɾ/ [hm̥ hm̥ˠ hn̥ hŋ̊ hl̥ hɾ̥]
No voiceless /j/?
Sangfroidish wrote:- */ɑ̃ õ ũ/ > /a ø y/ in some environments, /ɑn on un/ in others, not sure which yet
Maybe /a ø y/ around coronals, /j/, and front vowels, and /ɑn on un/ elsewhere?
Sangfroidish wrote:Still need to account for the appearance of /ə v ð ɣ ɣʷ/, which I'd rather lose,
When you say you'd rather lose them, do you mean you don't want them in modern Vorinthel, or am I misunderstanding? If you don't want them in modern Vorinthel, then simply don't bother accounting for them in the protolang, and take them out. If you have them in Vorinthel vocabulary, devoice the fricatives and make /ə/ into /ɛ/.
If I am misunderstanding, then I believe it would be very easy to account for the appearance of /v ð ɣ ɣʷ/. Add /b bˠ d g/ to the protolang and have them lenite at around the same time as the aspirated stops. If you want to, you could add /ɢ/ for symmetry, and then have it merge with /g/, or you could just leave it out, as /q/ without /ɢ/ is quite common.
As for /ə/, maybe have it as an epenthetic vowel appearing to split up clusters that, while "legal" in the protolang, came to be considered phonotactic violations in modern Vorinthel. This might not work, since I don't know Vorinthel phonotactics and the places in which /ə/ occurs in modern vocabulary. Syllabic consonant > /ə/ would be my other recommendation, especially since you already have /ɾ̩/ > /ɑr/.
Sangfroidish wrote:and I'd like to find a way to eradicate /ŋ/ from the protolang too if possible.
Nothing even remotely easy comes to mind that would achieve that goal and let you keep /ŋ̊ ŋ̊ʷ ŋ ŋʷ/ in modern Vorinthel.
In any case I'm sure it needs a lot more work to be remotely believable as a centuries- or millenia-old predecessor, though I'm quite pleased I've already managed to potentially mangle yeiti /jɛjti/ into *ʒæʃtʃ.
Yeah, I would expect a greater number of changes over a few centuries, let alone millenia. If you decide to make the gap more than 1,000 years, you might want to lay down intermediate stages, sort of like Middle and Early Modern English between Old and Modern English.
It looks good so far!