(Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

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sangi39
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by sangi39 » 01 Oct 2019 09:14

holbuzvala wrote:
01 Oct 2019 08:35
would it be strange to have a vowel inventory wherein only some vowels can be long?

My inventory is as follows:

Code: Select all

SHORT
i y    u
 e ø   o
  a
 
LONG
iː    uː
   aː
   
DIPHTH
ai
au
ay
I'd also expect there to be /y:/, and the diphthongs could probably be explained away as former long high vowels (with the current long high vowels being formerly long mid vowels). Otherwise that looks fine to me.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Vlürch » 01 Oct 2019 11:46

holbuzvala wrote:
01 Oct 2019 08:35
would it be strange to have a vowel inventory wherein only some vowels can be long?
No, that's perfectly fine I think. You could even argue that even in English the vowel inventory is like that; there's /ɪ/ and /iː/, /ʊ/ and /uː/, /æ/ and /ɑː/ and /ɒ/ and /ɔː/, but /e/, /o/ and /ə/ have no long counterparts unless you count /eɪ̯/, /oʊ̯/ and /ɜː/, but since the former two are diphthongs and the latter only occurs before /r/, they're not exactly equivalent. Hindustani is a clearer example, having only three short vowels but six long vowels: /ə ɪ ʊ/ and /ɑː ɛː eː iː ɔː oː uː/, although maybe some kind of argument could be made from the number of long vowels being exactly twice that of the short ones... hmm.

Well, in any case, I think it should be fine to have gaps in a vowel inventory just like it's fine to have them in a consonant inventory.
sangi39 wrote:
01 Oct 2019 09:14
I'd also expect there to be /y:/
Couldn't that be explained away by /y/ originating from another vowel that wasn't an exact rounded equivalent of /i/, though, if a justification is necessary?

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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by yangfiretiger121 » 01 Oct 2019 13:51

yangfiretiger121 wrote:
30 Sep 2019 17:04
<snip>
I have a feeling I'm planning too much of the Common's history because Old Common (Fmënïk [ˈfmɛ.nɪk], FMNK) and Church Common (Bäïkal [ˈbɑɪ̯.kal], dialect code BKL) were spoken when plate armour was around in the setting and were recombined into Early Middle Common (Knäüsäv [ˈknɑʊ̯.ʃɑɱ]; KNSV) 185 years ago (setting equivalent of 1834). Considering the aforementioned, I have two questions about this, noting the spellings and pronunciations for the languages' names are as they were when the languages were spoken.

1. Has KNSV had enough time to develop into Late Middle Common (Ypnæq [ˈy.pnæ̰s͡k]; YPNQ) for a modern-equivalent version of the setting?

2. Will KNSV have had the time to develop into New Common (think Modern/New English) by the setting's 26th century for Starfinder, or will it sill be at the Early New Common stage?
Is [iu̯] or [i̯u] the more likely outcome of a broken [y]?
Last edited by yangfiretiger121 on 01 Oct 2019 17:33, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Salmoneus » 01 Oct 2019 14:12

holbuzvala wrote:
01 Oct 2019 08:35
would it be strange to have a vowel inventory wherein only some vowels can be long?
Yes, this is extremely common.

The four obvious ways to produce this would be:
a) only short vowels undergo certain changes that produce new vowels.
b) long vowels shift in quality away from short vowels, but them sometimes lose their length.
c) some long vowels break into diphthongs.
d) some long vowels merge.
sangi39 wrote: I'd also expect there to be /y:/
Why?
If you assume c), sure, but I think a) is more likely, both in general, and in this particular inventory. In this case, I'd simply assume that /u/ > /y/ in certain circumstances (or /i/ > /y/) but that this doesn't apply to the long vowels.
and the diphthongs could probably be explained away as former long high vowels (with the current long high vowels being formerly long mid vowels). Otherwise that looks fine to me.
Or former long mid vowels, for that matter. But they don't really need to be 'explained away' at all, I don't think.

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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by LinguoFranco » 01 Oct 2019 17:20

holbuzvala wrote:
01 Oct 2019 08:35
would it be strange to have a vowel inventory wherein only some vowels can be long?

My inventory is as follows:

Code: Select all

SHORT
i y    u
 e ø   o
  a
 
LONG
iː    uː
   aː
   
DIPHTH
ai
au
ay
I don't think that is unnaturalistic, but I could be wrong. I think I've seen something like that, but based on the position of the stress, where the long vowels only occur in stressed syllables.

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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Khemehekis » 02 Oct 2019 06:29

Salmoneus wrote:
30 Sep 2019 12:39
yangfiretiger121 wrote:
30 Sep 2019 11:28
And, Sal, it's a roleplay setting, not a fanfic.
It's just that your Skaran Empire automatically think of the Scarran Empire and/or Skaro.
I've never heard of the Scarran Empire nor Skaro.

It reminded me of Doug Ball's Smiley-award-winning Skerre.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by holbuzvala » 02 Oct 2019 11:40

@ sangi39,Vlürch,Sal,Linguofranco

Thanks for the feedback. My broadstrokes idea of how this inventory came to be was an initial inventory of /a a: i i: u u: y (y:?) ai au ay/.

Then, certain reductions occur in unstressed syllables:
/ai/ > /e/
/au/ > /o/
/ay/ > /ø/
/V:/ > /V/
which leaves only /a i u/ as the possible long vowels (in stressed positions, until the stress rules change (of course)).

Seem plausible?

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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Omzinesý » 03 Oct 2019 15:36

If both Dative and Ablative cases develop a genitive function (either beside a possessive suffix, his-genitive or not), in what kinds of genitive functions could each be used?
Rather an innovative than typological question, I think

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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Shemtov » 03 Oct 2019 21:01

What would be the proper terms for a concern that indicates "while","after"and"before"?
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Creyeditor » 03 Oct 2019 21:33

Omzinesý wrote:
03 Oct 2019 15:36
If both Dative and Ablative cases develop a genitive function (either beside a possessive suffix, his-genitive or not), in what kinds of genitive functions could each be used?
Rather an innovative than typological question, I think
Maybe you could use the dative for animate possessors (alternatively inalienable possession) and the ablative for inanimate possessors (alternatively alienable possession). I was thinking of French chez vs. à.
Shemtov wrote:
03 Oct 2019 21:01
What would be the proper terms for a concern that indicates "while","after"and"before"?
I don't know how to differentiate between before and after, but I have seen 'simultaneous' tense and 'sequential' tense used in this sense. Maybe you could call the 'before' one 'anterior'?
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Tuyono » 05 Oct 2019 16:40

I have a couple of early conlang sketches and I'm wondering if posting them would be a good idea.
So, people who have posted here about conlangs in very early stages of development - did it help you develop them? And would a lack of feedback discourage you?

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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by TwistedOne151 » 05 Oct 2019 17:29

Having a little problem with how best to romanize/transcribe the vowels and accent for a conlang.
I've got the following vowels:
short: /ä ɛ ɪ ʊ/
long: /ɑː æː eː oː iː uː/
closing diphthongs /äɪ̯ ɛɪ̯ ʊɪ̯ äʊ̯ ɛʊ̯/
opening diphthongs /iɛ̯ uɔ̯/

I also have a pitch accent, where a single syllable within a word has an accent marked by higher pitch. However, it's a bit like Greek in that the accent is specifically on a mora; that is, while a short vowel (without a sonorant coda) is either accented (H) or unaccented (L), a long vowel, diphthong, or (tautosyllabic) sequence of short vowel and nasal or liquid coda can have the accent on the second mora ("acute," LH rising pitch contour), accent on the first mora ("circumflex," HL falling pitch contour), or be unaccented (low pitch).

Any ideas on a good way to unambiguously represent this without stacking too many diacritics or using too many hard-to-type/enter characters (like small alpha)? For digraphs like the diphthongs (including the "nasal diphthongs" and "liquid diphthongs"), which letter should the pitch accent diacritic be placed on?

Also, any good ideas for romanizing a /ʁ~ʕ/ consonant (paired with a voiceless /χ~ħ/), particularly with "r" already taken?

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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by sangi39 » 05 Oct 2019 19:20

Tuyono wrote:
05 Oct 2019 16:40
I have a couple of early conlang sketches and I'm wondering if posting them would be a good idea.
So, people who have posted here about conlangs in very early stages of development - did it help you develop them? And would a lack of feedback discourage you?
Some users have what they call "scratchpad" threads on the board, where they can develop a conlang from, well, scratch (I think either in the beginners section or the conlang section of the board depending on how they feel about what they might put out there).

I've used them in the past, and feedback or not, I think, at least for me, having the potential for scrutiny being there makes me try to think a little bit harder about what I want to put up in the thread, and it also means that even if you don't get feedback immediately, someone can jump in at any point (maybe they've been lurking) and say something about it (one of the problems with presenting conlangs "in full" can be the "tl;dr" effect, or someone might like it, but without having to write a full reply a "cool conlang" to 10 pages and months of work might not seem enough).
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But it never gets any more true,
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That they all still believe in you.
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Tuyono » 05 Oct 2019 20:10

@sangi39: Thanks!
Personally, thinking harder because people see what I make might actually hinder me from deciding anything at all! That's one reason I have posted very little about my main conlang, although I have more stuff in my notes. It can work better for a side project, I hope.

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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by yangfiretiger121 » 06 Oct 2019 02:27

My roleplay setting's Proto-Common language reconstructs with three ambiguously-rounded vowel phonemes; high front /ɩ/ (no actual IPA), near-high central /ɿ/ (again, no IPA), and low-mid central /ə̞/. Is it more natural for them to dissimilate into their respective /i, y/, /ɪ, ʊ/, and /ɛ, ɔ/ with complete (two results), some (one or two results), or no (one result) contrast?
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Vlürch » 06 Oct 2019 07:43

Tuyono wrote:
05 Oct 2019 16:40
I have a couple of early conlang sketches and I'm wondering if posting them would be a good idea.
So, people who have posted here about conlangs in very early stages of development - did it help you develop them? And would a lack of feedback discourage you?
For me, having posting about them here as a goal is motivational. Still, I haven't posted anything about the over 150 conlangs I've abandoned within weeks or days (often at the stage of having a phonology and one or two things about grammar) because even though I'm really happy with some of them, unless I feel like I have enough vocabulary (and at least some "useful" vocabulary), it just makes me feel lazy. If I can't come up with enough vocabulary to get to a point where I'd want to post something about the conlang here within a week, I tend to abandon it. However, in those early stages, obviously the expectation is always that I'll post a thread about them at some point... but if coming up with vocabulary doesn't feel fun, then it's just not worth continuing to work on that conlang (or at least that's how I feel about my conlangs).

What I'm saying is, you have to figure out your own "cutoff" for when a conlang has enough substance to post about. Lack of feedback might be discouraging, but it's the norm and should be the expectation that you won't get even one reply; lack of feedback doesn't mean people don't like it, just that they don't know what to say about it or how to say it, or don't have the time, or just prefer to wait for more to comment on. The last point is what I consider most important; if the first post about the conlang is just a phonology and a couple of notes about grammar but doesn't include any vocabulary or example sentences, how is the reader going to get an idea of what the language is actually like?
sangi39 wrote:
05 Oct 2019 19:20
(one of the problems with presenting conlangs "in full" can be the "tl;dr" effect, or someone might like it, but without having to write a full reply a "cool conlang" to 10 pages and months of work might not seem enough).
True, but I feel like "more = better" because there's no obligation to read everything posted about the conlang, just like when reading stuff about natlangs. If a conlang has an absolutely huge list of vocabulary, ctrl+f'ing is a possibility. If it has a well-articulated, thoroughly written description of grammar, ctrl+f'ing is a possibility.

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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Ahzoh » 06 Oct 2019 10:32

Ok, so I have these sound changes (I = high vowel, e.g. /i u/):

Vj, Vw > Vː
wI > uː
jI > iː
i iː u uː > /i əj u əw/
e eː o oː > /ə i ə u/
a aː ɒ ɒː > /ɑ/
/c cʼ ɟ/ > /tʃ tʃʼ dʒ/ > /ʃ ʃʼ ʒ/
/ç çʼ ʝ/ > /ʃ ʃʼ ʒ/

Now given these sound changes, do the following paradigm changes make sense?
It is Singular | Plural > Singular | Plural

Code: Select all

nu-ṣrah | nu-ṣarh-om > nu-ṣrah | nu-ṣarh-əm
ṣrah    | ṣarh-om    > ṣarah   | ṣarh-əm
ṣruh    | ṣurh-om    > ṣaruh   | ṣurh-əm 
ni-ṣreh | ni-ṣerh-om > ni-ṣrəh | ni-ṣərh-əm
ṣreh    | ṣerh-om    > ṣarəh   | ṣərh-əm
ṣrih    | ṣirh-om    > ṣarih   | ṣirh-əm

nū-baž  | nu-yabž-om > nə-ybaž | nu-yabž-əm
ybaž    | yabž-om    > yabaž   | yabž-əm
ybuž    | yubž-om    > yabuž   | yubž-əm
nī-bež  | ni-yebž-om > nə-ybəž | ni-yəbž-əm
ybež    | yebž-om    > yabəž   | yəbž-əm
ybiž    | yibž-om    > yabiž   | yibž-əm

nu-dwal | nu-dāl-om  > nu-dwal | nu-dawl-əm
dwal    | dāl-om     > dawal   | dawl-əm
dūl     | dūl-om     > dul     | dul-əm
ni-dwel | ni-dēl-om  > ni-dwəl | ni-dəwl-əm
dwel    | dēl-om     > dawəl   | dəwl-əm
dūl     | dūl-om     > dul     | dul-əm

nu-nšā | nu-našy-om  > nu-nšay | nu-našy-əm
nšā    | našy-om     > našay   | našy-əm
nšū    | nušy-om     > naši    | nušy-əm
ni-nšē | ni-nešy-om  > ni-nšəy | ni-nəšy-əm
nšē    | nešy-om     > našəy   | nəšy-əm
nšī    | nišy-om     > naši    | nišy-əm
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by holbuzvala » 06 Oct 2019 11:37

TwistedOne151 wrote:
05 Oct 2019 17:29
Having a little problem with how best to romanize/transcribe the vowels and accent for a conlang.
I've got the following vowels:
short: /ä ɛ ɪ ʊ/
long: /ɑː æː eː oː iː uː/
closing diphthongs /äɪ̯ ɛɪ̯ ʊɪ̯ äʊ̯ ɛʊ̯/
opening diphthongs /iɛ̯ uɔ̯/

I also have a pitch accent, where a single syllable within a word has an accent marked by higher pitch. However, it's a bit like Greek in that the accent is specifically on a mora; that is, while a short vowel (without a sonorant coda) is either accented (H) or unaccented (L), a long vowel, diphthong, or (tautosyllabic) sequence of short vowel and nasal or liquid coda can have the accent on the second mora ("acute," LH rising pitch contour), accent on the first mora ("circumflex," HL falling pitch contour), or be unaccented (low pitch).

Any ideas on a good way to unambiguously represent this without stacking too many diacritics or using too many hard-to-type/enter characters (like small alpha)? For digraphs like the diphthongs (including the "nasal diphthongs" and "liquid diphthongs"), which letter should the pitch accent diacritic be placed on?

Also, any good ideas for romanizing a /ʁ~ʕ/ consonant (paired with a voiceless /χ~ħ/), particularly with "r" already taken?
I think a romanisation where you use digraphs for the long vowels and diphthongs would be good, with low tones unmarked, and high tones marked with an accent. I've used geminates for most, and thrown in <oa> for /ɑː/.

short: /ä ɛ ɪ ʊ/ <a e i u>
long: /ɑː æː eː oː iː uː/ <oa aa ee oo ii uu>
closing diphthongs /äɪ̯ ɛɪ̯ ʊɪ̯ äʊ̯ ɛʊ̯/ <ai ei oi au eu>
opening diphthongs /iɛ̯ uɔ̯/ <ie uo>

The 5x tones would be:
short vowels: L = <a> ; H = <á>
long vowels/diphthongs: LL = <aa> ; LH = <aá> ; HL = <áa>


As for the sequence of short vowels followed by nasals or liquids, I might be inclined to do something like this:
LL = <an>
LH = <aán>
HL = <án>

(N.B. you can always use other not-traditionally vowel characters for vowels, like <v>, and mark tones with things like <c> or <q>, but I think those are aesthetically nasty, and you might be using those characters already)

/ʁ~ʕ/ I'd romanise as <g> or <ǵ> or <gh> or <'>. But we'd really have to see the rest of your inventory and romanisation.

I've been thinking about adjectives and their order. I currently have adjectives following nouns they describe, which I would like to change slightly by allowing certain adjectives to precede. While I'm open to having 'big, small, good, bad' and such, I'd like to add some more flavoursome adjectives in addition to those ones. Any ideas which sorts? I'm aware that all the preceding adjectives in, say French, are quite 'basic' semantic concepts, but I wonder how broad the category of 'semantically basic' adjectives can be.

(N.B. aim is ostensibly for naturalism)

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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Zekoslav » 06 Oct 2019 13:00

I've got syntax questions...

Imagine an agglutinative language where only subjects can be made heads of relative clauses*. Making arguments other than subjects heads of relative clauses is done by a combination of applicatives (oblique argument > direct object) and passive (direct object > subject).

*This is done by suffixing the definite article at the end of the verb, nominalising it (suffixing the definite article can nominalise other constructions as well).

In that way, 'the town I lived in' would be expressed as 'the by me lived-in town' (1.sg-GEN LOC.app-live-PST-PASS-DEF town-DEF). After a quick glance at Swahili and an Austronesian language whose name I can't remember, using applicatives and passive this way seems pretty ordinary.

However...

I imagined the same language would be heavy on compounding, and that compounds would be developed by fusing noun phrases, trapping some case endings between the two parts of the compound in the process (rather like Germanic languages having the genitive ending as a link between the two parts of the compound, this language would have the locative in addition to the genitive ending).

This means that I could put the agent in the genitive case and compound it with the relativised/nominalised verb, so that 'the picture my brother looked at' would be expressed as 'the brother-looked-at picture' (brother-GEN-LOC.app-look-PST-PASS-DEF picture-DEF).

Howeverer...

I imagined the same language might have noun incorporation. This is verging on kitchen-sink so I said might instead of would have. This gives me the idea to 1. incorporate the direct object, 2. make the instrument into the direct object by applicatives and further into the subject by passive, the old subject becomes an oblique argument marked by the genitive 3. make the new subject the head of a relative clause 4. compound the old subject with the relative clause.

So 'the knife my brother cut the apple with' becomes 'the brother-apple-cut-with knife' (brother-GEN-INST.app-apple-cut-PST-PASS-DEF knife-DEF). I've successfully turned the entire relative clause into a single word, which is nifty and very agglutinative-synthetic, howeverest...

...is this thing even remotely realistic? [o.O] ?
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Re: (Conlangs) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Creyeditor » 06 Oct 2019 13:08

TwistedOne151 wrote:
05 Oct 2019 17:29
Having a little problem with how best to romanize/transcribe the vowels and accent for a conlang.
I've got the following vowels:
short: /ä ɛ ɪ ʊ/
long: /ɑː æː eː oː iː uː/
closing diphthongs /äɪ̯ ɛɪ̯ ʊɪ̯ äʊ̯ ɛʊ̯/
opening diphthongs /iɛ̯ uɔ̯/

I also have a pitch accent, where a single syllable within a word has an accent marked by higher pitch. However, it's a bit like Greek in that the accent is specifically on a mora; that is, while a short vowel (without a sonorant coda) is either accented (H) or unaccented (L), a long vowel, diphthong, or (tautosyllabic) sequence of short vowel and nasal or liquid coda can have the accent on the second mora ("acute," LH rising pitch contour), accent on the first mora ("circumflex," HL falling pitch contour), or be unaccented (low pitch).

Any ideas on a good way to unambiguously represent this without stacking too many diacritics or using too many hard-to-type/enter characters (like small alpha)? For digraphs like the diphthongs (including the "nasal diphthongs" and "liquid diphthongs"), which letter should the pitch accent diacritic be placed on?
Diphthongs usually have two moras, so you could just put the accent on the mora it occurs on.

Here is my idea:
short: /ä ɛ ɪ ʊ/<a e i u>
long: /ɑː æː eː oː iː uː/<ao ae ee oo ii uu>
closing diphthongs /äɪ̯ ɛɪ̯ ʊɪ̯ äʊ̯ ɛʊ̯/<ai ei ui au eu>
opening diphthongs /iɛ̯ uɔ̯/<ie uo>

The low long vowels are written as diphthongs since long vowels and diphthongs pattern the same. Here is an idea for the accent placement.
short unaccented: e
short accented: é
long unaccented: ee
long acute: eé
long circumflex: ée

TwistedOne151 wrote:
05 Oct 2019 17:29
Also, any good ideas for romanizing a /ʁ~ʕ/ consonant (paired with a voiceless /χ~ħ/), particularly with "r" already taken?
I like to use <g> or a variation for /ʁ~ʕ/.

yangfiretiger121 wrote:
06 Oct 2019 02:27
My roleplay setting's Proto-Common language reconstructs with three ambiguously-rounded vowel phonemes; high front /ɩ/ (no actual IPA), near-high central /ɿ/ (again, no IPA), and low-mid central /ə̞/. Is it more natural for them to dissimilate into their respective /i, y/, /ɪ, ʊ/, and /ɛ, ɔ/ with complete (two results), some (one or two results), or no (one result) contrast?
What would be the condition for dissimilation? If none of them is specified for rounding, it's hard to have dissimilation between vowels for rounding.
Creyeditor
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