@ Dan_ad_nauseam & linguoboy:
Oh, thanks for clearing it up!
I'll read over the posts now.
What Dan said: To determine the "least marked vowel" in your language, we have to know the full inventory of vowels as well as information on their occurrence. If you have, say, more rounded vowels than unrounded, it's possible that "umrounded" will be the more marked feature, and so forth.
I double checked my conlang's vowel inventory and I have more unrounded than rounded. So my inventory's unrounded vowels are marked and my inventory's rounded vowels are the least marked? Any it can be any of those in the "least marked vowels"?
Oh, and another note on vowel harmony: it can be incomplete. Your epenthetic vowel could be specified for, say, height and then take its frontness/roundedness/tenseness/etc. from the adjoining vowel. So, for instance, it might be /e/ next to /e/ or /i/ and /o/ next to /a/, /o/, or /u/. And features can spread to vowels from consonants as well; it could be rounded next to labial consonants and unrounded otherwise, among myriad other possibilities.
So how best to express the rule will depend on how it actually functions.
Adjoining vowel? If its an epenthetic vowel being applied, how would this work if its after a consonant and before another consonant? What I mean is, if I'm being confusing, what about in this situation: ren
I understand the consonant possibilities though!
Rule writing is one of those things that is really simple but also takes forever to get used to. The basic format of a rule is X→Y / ____. Everything to the left of the backslash describes what change is going to occur and everything to the right of the backslash shows the environment in which that change occurs. So, a simple epenthesis rule would be Ø→V/C___C. Written out, this would say null becomes a vowel when it comes between to consonants. You can further specify which vowel or consonants.
There are several ways you could write an epenthetic rule depending on the circumstances. But say that you want to make *renskal into *renoskal the rule would be Ø→o/C___sC What this says is, /o/ is inserted between C and any sC cluster. You would need to write additional rules for vowel harmony if you wanted.
Oh my! So if I understood this right:X→Y /
= this shows what will
happen when it meets the correct condition. ____.
= this shows the condition in which the above will happen.
Did I understand it right...? What does the "Ø" mean in what you wrote? Is it the "null" you mentioned earlier and if so, does it represent the "____" after the backslash? *Oh, about placement of the rule. Could I write this rule within the Allophones part of my post, or should I write it within the Vowels part of the post?*
If I understood the above correctly I have something to ask about the empenthetic/prothetic vowel rule; I actually meant to ask this earlier, but some appointments I had got in the way of it and I completely forgot *stupid hospitals lol*. :/ Could my empenthetic/prothetic vowel rule also (or instead of) be allowed to a cluster of CC instead of just
sC? Like Ø→o/C___CC?
This rule only works if *ren is prefixed to *skal. If you want them to remain separate words and you want some form of epenthesis to occur, then you would need to write different rules for that.
How would a rule like that work?
Would it be possible for me to have both rules?
Thanks for answering my questions guys. I know I'm being a bother to you guys and that you guys probably get these questions everyday, but I really do appreciate all the help given to me.