Random phonology/phonemic inventory thread

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Re: Random phonology/phonemic inventory thread

Post by this_is_an_account »

I haven't posted here in a bit, here's a phono.

/m mʲ n nʲ ŋ/
/p pʲ t tʲ d dʲ ɖ k kʲ ɡ ɡʲ ʔ ʔʲ/
/ɓ ɓʲ tʼ tʲʼ kʼ kʲʼ/
/v vʲ s sʲ z zʲ ʂ h hʲ/
/tʂ dʐ/
/tsʼ tsʲʼ tʂʼ/
/r rʲ l lʲ j w/
/i e o a/

The syllable structure is (C)V(C), where the initial consonant cant be /ŋ/ and the final consonant is one of /m n ŋ/. Palatalized consonants only appear before /i e/. In some areas, /v vʲ/ are [ɦ ɦʲ].
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eldin raigmore
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Re: Random phonology/phonemic inventory thread

Post by eldin raigmore »

Phoneme inventory
All 13 consonants are pulmonic egressive.
By manner of articulation:
Plosives: /p b t k g/
Nasals: /m n N/ (/N/ is the voiced velar nasal. IPA notation would be engma, but it’s hard for me to type that.)
Fricatives: /s h/
Approximants: /w j/ (/w/ is the voiced labial-velar approximant.)
Lateral approximant: /l/

By place of articulation:
Bilabial: /p b m w/ (/w/ is co-articulated labial-velar approximant)
Alveolar: /t n s l/
Palatal: /j/
Velar: /k g N/ (I’m writing the voiced velar nasal as /N/)
Glottal: /h/

Close to open:
Close: /i u/
Mid: /e o/
Open: /a/

Front to back:
Front unrounded: /i e/
Central unrounded: /a/
Back rounded: /u o/

I use C to denote any consonant, M to denote any nasal, K to denote any stop or /s/, J to denote any glide or liquid, V to denote any vowel.
The nasals /m n N/, and only the nasals, can appear in codas; and they can’t appear anywhere else.
The other ten consonants can all appear in onsets, but not codas. They can all be one-consonant onsets.
The stops and one of the fricatives /p b t k g s/ can be the first consonant of an onset-cluster. No other consonant can be the first consonant of an onset cluster, and none of those six can appear anywhere else in an onset-cluster.
The glides and the liquid /j w l/ can be the last consonant of an onset cluster. No other consonant can be the last consonant in an onset cluster, and none of those three can occur elsewhere in an onset cluster.
The glottal fricative /h/ can only be a one-consonant onset. It cannot occur in a cluster nor a coda.

Phonotactics and syllable-structure
CV(M) or KJV(M)
Mandatory onsets can be one or two consonants
Optional codas can be one consonant
Nuclei can be one vowel
10 consonants K+J+H can be one-consonant onsets but can never be in codas
6 consonants K can be first consonants of onset-clusters, or only consonants of simple onsets, but can never be in codas and can never be last consonants of clusters
3 consonants J can be last consonants of onset clusters, or only consonants of simple onsets, but can never be in codas and can never be first consonants of clusters.
1 consonant /h/ can only be a single-consonant onset
3 consonants M can only be single-consonant codas

6*3+10 = 18+10 = 28 onsets
5*3+5 = 15+5 = 20 rimes
28*20 = 560 syllables
10*5 = 50 CV syllables
6*3*5 = 90 CCV syllables
10*5*3 = 150 CVC syllables
6*3*5*3 = 18*15 = 270 CCVC syllables

Phonological shapes of morphemes.
No morpheme can contain more than one copy of any single phoneme.
I’m going to concentrate on morphemes with two or fewer syllables. I leave aside 3-syllable morphemes for now.
Affixes and particles will be four phonemes or fewer.

All morphemes with four or fewer phonemes will be affixes and particles.
They’ll include all one-syllable morphemes, of which there could be up to 560.
They’ll also include all CV.CV two-syllable morphemes, of which there could be up to
10*5 * 9*4 = 50*36 = 1800.
So 1800+560 = 2360 affixes and particles.
English reportedly has around 800 affixes. I don’t know how many particles English has.

The most common, most frequently-used roots, will be 5-phoneme bisyllables.
They’ll consist of
6*3*5 * 8*4 = 90*32 = 2880 CCV.CV at a max
8*5 * 6*3*4 = 40*72 = 2880 CV.CCV at a max
10*5*3 * 9*4 = 150*36 = 5400 CVC.CV at a max
10*5 * 9*4*3 = 50*108 = 5400 CV.CVC at a max
5-phoneme 2-syllable morphemes, for a total of up to 16,560 roots.
That’s more than three times as many as needed for most everyday conversations.

6-phoneme 2-syllable root morphemes could have the following shapes.
CCVC.CV 6*3*5*3 * 8*4 = 270*32 = 8,640
CV.CCVC 8*5 * 6*3*4*3 = 40*216 = 8,640
CCV.CVC 6*3*5 * 8*4*3 = 90*96 = 8,640
CVC.CCV 8*5*3 * 6*3*4 = 120*72 = 8,640
CVC.CVC 10*5*3 * 9*4*2 = 150*72 = 10,800
CCV.CCV 6*3*5 * 5*2*4 = 90*40 = 3,600
for a total of up to 48,960 roots.

So far that’s 65,520 possible roots. That’s a few more than needed for most expert conversations.

7-phoneme 2-syllable roots could have the following shapes.
CCVC.CCV 6*3*5*3 * 5*2*4 = 270*40 = 10,800
CCV.CCVC 6*3*5 * 5*2*4*3 = 90*120 = 10,800
CCVC.CVC 6*3*5*3 * 8*4*2 = 270*64 = 17,280
CVC.CCVC 8*5*3 * 6*3*4*2 = 120*144 = 17,280
for a possible total of 56,160 roots.

So far that’s 121,680 roots.

8-phoneme 2-syllable roots, if there are any, have only one possible shape:
CCVC.CCVC 6*3*5*3 * 5*2*4*2 = 18*15 * 10*8 = 270*80 = 21,600 possible roots of this shape.

That’s now a possible 143,280 roots; still a few myriads fewer than the OED says English has.


Time to consider 3-syllable roots?

3-syllable roots, if there are any, could have 6 to 12 phonemes.
I’m going to arbitrarily forbid morphemes longer than 11 phonemes.

Let’s start with 6-phoneme trisyllables.
They’ll all have one shape.
CV.CV.CV 10*5 * 9*4 * 8*3 = 50*36*24 = 43,200 possible roots.
That gives us 65,520+43,200 = 108,720 possible roots with 6 or fewer phonemes in 3 or fewer syllables.

So far we have:
16,560 possible 5-phoneme 2-syllable roots
48,960 possible 6-phoneme 2-syllable roots
43,200 possible 6-phoneme 3-syllable roots
56,160 possible 7-phoneme 2-syllable roots
164,880 possible roots so far.

The OED says English has about 177,000 roots.
If I want to beat that I may need to go further.


If I want to go further I have a choice. I can use the 8-phoneme 2-syllable root morphemes to get 164,880 + 21,600 = 186,480 to exceed English’s (about) 177,000 root-inventory;

Or I can instead consider 7-phoneme 3-syllable roots.

7-phoneme 3-syllable roots, if there are any, have the following six possible shapes:
CVC.CV.CV 10*5*3 * 9*4 * 8*3 = 150*36*24 = 129,600
CV.CVC.CV 10*5 * 9*4*3 * 8*3 = 50*108*24 = 129,600
CV.CV.CVC 10*5 * 9*4 * 8*3*3 = 50*36*72 = 129,600
CCV.CV.CV 6*3*5 * 8*4 * 7*3 = 90*32*21 = 60,480
CV.CCV.CV 8*5 * 6*3*4 * 7*3 = 40*72*21 = 60,480
CV.CV.CCV 8*5 * 7*4 * 6*3*3 = 40*28*54 = 60,480
for a total of as many as 570,240 possible roots.
164,880 + 570,240 is 735,120 possible roots of 7 or fewer phonemes and 3 or fewer syllables. More than 4 times as many roots as English has.

If I include both the 5-to-8-phoneme 2-syllable possibilities and the 6-or-7-phoneme 3-syllable possibilities I have
767,720 possible roots; about 4-and-1/3 as many roots as English actually has.

I don’t believe I need to consider any 8-or-more-phoneme 3-syllable root possibilities!
I’m approaching a million possible phonetic combinations, and I think most grammatical utterances with 8 or more phonemes and 3 or more syllables are likelier to be full words than morphemes; at least in this conlang. Admittedly that’s just a feeling!


The phoneme inventory might be unnaturalistic.
Given the phoneme inventory, the phonotactics is naturalistic enough.
The requirement that no phoneme occur twice in the same morpheme is naturalistic enough, though nothing like universal.
The idea that every morpheme consist of an entire syllable or entire syllables, may well be unnaturalistic and maybe even unrealistic.

Anyway; between any two repetitions of the same phoneme must come a syllable boundary (which is naturalistic and pretty common) and a morpheme boundary (also naturalistic among languages satisfying the equivalent requirement that no phoneme occur twice in the same morpheme).
Also, every morpheme boundary is also a syllable boundary (since syllables never span morpheme-boundaries).

I haven’t included a way to detect word-boundaries.
Last edited by eldin raigmore on 23 Nov 2020 21:05, edited 7 times in total.
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Re: Random phonology/phonemic inventory thread

Post by Vlürch »

DesEsseintes wrote: 18 Nov 2020 17:20This is almost exactly the kind of vowel system I like to use at the moment.
That kind of vowel inventories are nice, but in practice I personally can't handle speaking anything that distinguishes /ɛ ɔ/ from /e o/ since I can't pronounce either pair consistently except in isolation (and not even then always) and they just come out as [e̞ o̞], or /ɛ/ as [æ] and /e o/ as [i u​] if I try to pronounce them as distinctly as possible haha. [>_<]

Something meant to be kinda similar to the languages of India, but more "minimalistic":

/m n̪ ɳ [ŋ]/ <m n ṇ (n)>
/p t̪ ʈ k/ <p t ṭ k>
/ʂ/ <ṣ>
/ʋ θ ɻ j x/ <v s ṛ y h>
/ɾ/ <r>
/l̪ ɭ/ <l ḷ>

/a e i o u [ə]/ <a e i o u (Ø)>
/aː eː iː oː uː/ <ā ē ī ō ū>

/p t̪ ʈ k/ are voiced in phonemic intervocalical and post-nasal positions and aspirated in open syllables, including when voiced. In clusters after liquids, they're voiced but not aspirated.

[ə] occurs word-initially when a word begins with /ɳ ʈ ʂ ɻ ɾ ɭ/ (and isn't preceded by a word that ends in a vowel or one of the phonetically allowed cluster consonants), between consonants to break up most clusters, and word-finally after /p t̪ ʈ k ɾ/; these effects occur across word boundaries. Since its presence or absence is entirely predictable, it's not written. Its exact realisation is [æ~ɐ~ə~ɘ~ɨ~ɯ~ɤ~ʌ] in free variation.

[ŋ] only occurs as an allophone of /n̪/ before /k x/ and word-finally when the following word begins with a vowel, or utterance-finally.

Nasal consonants cause nasalisation on the preceding vowel in closed syllables.

rūk tari ṣopnā heṛṭa ompīkin
/ɾuːk t̪aɾi ʂopɳaː xeɻʈa ompiːkin/
[əɾuːkə t̪ʰa̠ɾi ʂopəɳa̠ː xe̞ɻɖa̠ õ̞mbʱiːgĩŋ]
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