Syllable Structure

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Re: Syllable Structure

Postby Emma » Wed 02 Nov 2011 6:46 am

Just include all phonological rules in the phonology section.

Alright, will do. :D

Yes. CC means ANY two consonants, as long as it's an allowable consonant cluster in your phonology. So if you have both *skal and *tral as possible words, that rule would insert /o/ before both of those.

Okay, just wanted to make sure before I went ahead. :)

I'm not sure I totally understand your question but let me try to answer. *ren oskal is more natural/likely than *reno skal. To be honest, I'm not so sure *reno skal is allowable but I can't think of a reason it wouldn't be.

Hmm, what I mean is: I'm applying epethetic/prothetic to my conlang -- skal -- so "sk/CC" could be possible with my syllable structure. But does the *reno skal option conflict with that? Because if its alone -- skal -- by using "Ø→o/C___#sC" it would be incompatible with my syllable structure again [which is (C)V(C)], right?

*I'm sorry I was confusing.*

You're welcome.

I'd recommend reading up on phonological topics on wikpedia. The pages are usually quite easy to understand and give lots of examples in natural languages. Also, for rule writing it would be good to read up on feature theory...it's more complicated but helps with writing vowel harmony rules, voicing rules and other rules which can't easily be written with just IPA symbols.


I have read and understood some Wikipedia articles, but a lot of the time I can't follow what they are saying. :( I do try reading the articles a couple hundred times before I ask people on forums though. :oops: I'll read up on the articles some more next time before thinking about asking people/on forums. :)
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Re: Syllable Structure

Postby spanick » Wed 02 Nov 2011 7:05 am

Emma wrote:Hmm, what I mean is: I'm applying epethetic/prothetic to my conlang -- skal -- so "sk/CC" could be possible with my syllable structure. But does the *reno skal option conflict with that? Because if its alone -- skal -- by using "Ø→o/C___#sC" it would be incompatible with my syllable structure again [which is (C)V(C)], right?

*I'm sorry I was confusing.*


No need to be sorry.

Right now your possible syllable structure is (C)(C)V(C) because you're allowing /sk/ as an onset. If you use a possible syllable structure of (C)V(C) you couldn't use /sk/ as an onset at all. But (and I think this may be where the epenthesis talk came from) you could put a prothetic vowel there. That way, you wouldn't have a one syllable word structured CCVC because that violates (C)V(C). Instead, the prothetic vowel would make it a two syllable word structured VC.CVC --which is allowed by your syllable structure (C)V(C). (I think this is what linguoboy and dan were saying before...I probably should've read closer haha)
Emma wrote:I have read and understood some Wikipedia articles, but a lot of the time I can't follow what they are saying. :( I do try reading the articles a couple hundred times before I ask people on forums though. :oops: I'll read up on the articles some more next time before thinking about asking people/on forums. :)

Ah ok. Well, nbd. Forums are a great place to learn. If you're already reading them there's no need to read them more before asking. Like I said, I LOVE explaining this stuff :)
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Re: Syllable Structure

Postby Emma » Wed 02 Nov 2011 7:25 am

No need to be sorry.

Right now your possible syllable structure is (C)(C)V(C) because you're allowing /sk/ as an onset. If you use a possible syllable structure of (C)V(C) you couldn't use /sk/ as an onset at all. But (and I think this may be where the epenthesis talk came from) you could put a prothetic vowel there. That way, you wouldn't have a one syllable word structured CCVC because that violates (C)V(C). Instead, the prothetic vowel would make it a two syllable word structured VC.CVC --which is allowed by your syllable structure (C)V(C). (I think this is what linguoboy and dan were saying before...I probably should've read closer haha)

Oh, I must have gotten something crossed a bit back then. :o I thought I read that an empathetic vowel would make *skal compatible with (C)V(C) as well as prothetic. D:

So a prothetic vowel would work with my syllable structure, but not empathetic..?

Ah ok. Well, nbd. Forums are a great place to learn. If you're already reading them there's no need to read them more before asking. Like I said, I LOVE explaining this stuff :)

I even look at my collection (around 120) encyclopedias -- very old though -- before I look at wikipedia and then if it doesn't help, I resort to forums and asking people. :D

*I hope I can get to a stage where I can help people. I would love it as well. :mrgreen: *
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Re: Syllable Structure

Postby spanick » Wed 02 Nov 2011 8:05 am

Emma wrote:Oh, I must have gotten something crossed a bit back then. :o I thought I read that an empathetic vowel would make *skal compatible with (C)V(C) as well as prothetic. D:

So a prothetic vowel would work with my syllable structure, but not empathetic..?


Prothesis is a kind of epenthesis so they would both work (epenthesis is just the general term for adding a sound to a word, while prothesis is specifically putting a vowel at the beginning of a word). I just got confused earlier. The thing to know is if you choose to have (C)V(C) as your syllable structure, then *skal cannot be a word but *askal could.

*skal = CCVC (not allowed)
*askal = VC.CVC (allowed)
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Re: Syllable Structure

Postby linguoboy » Wed 02 Nov 2011 4:52 pm

Emma wrote:
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"?

Not necessarily. As I said, it also depends on frequency. For instance, if /o/ is twice as common in your language as any other vowel, then it might could be described as "least marked" even though it is rounded.


Emma wrote: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: renoskal.

By "adjoining vowel" I mean the vowel nearest to cluster, regardless of how many consonants intervene.

For /ren/ + /skal/, I imagine the rules would be the same as for /skal/ alone. /a/ would be the "adjoining vowel" in this case.

spanick wrote: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.

I'm not sure where you learned this convention, but when I took phonology, we were taught to use a vertical line here, not a backslash (i.e. X→Y | _). This is what I see in modern academic sources. Perhaps some people substitute slash (/) or backslash (\) where the vertical line isn't an option, but what I've seen more commonly (and what I use myself) is the pipe, (i.e. X→Y | _).
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Re: Syllable Structure

Postby spanick » Wed 02 Nov 2011 5:22 pm

linguoboy wrote:
spanick wrote: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.

I'm not sure where you learned this convention, but when I took phonology, we were taught to use a vertical line here, not a backslash (i.e. X→Y | _). This is what I see in modern academic sources. Perhaps some people substitute slash (/) or backslash (\) where the vertical line isn't an option, but what I've seen more commonly (and what I use myself) is the pipe, (i.e. X→Y | _).

That's how it was taught at University of Oregon. That's also the convention used in Introducing Phonology by David Odden (the textbook we used for my phonology class). Oddly, I think I've onyl seen the vertical line used a few times (not to be contrary or anything :lol: ). The only other I could think of would be to avoid confusion between /l/ and the pipe (especially when handwriten).

To each his own, I suppose.
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Re: Syllable Structure

Postby spanick » Wed 02 Nov 2011 11:54 pm

I just realized my last post is filled with typos. Sorry about that. My bad.
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Re: Syllable Structure

Postby Emma » Thu 03 Nov 2011 2:53 am

@ the rule writing:

So they are both used to write the rules out? :)

@spanick:

Prothesis is a kind of epenthesis so they would both work (epenthesis is just the general term for adding a sound to a word, while prothesis is specifically putting a vowel at the beginning of a word). I just got confused earlier. The thing to know is if you choose to have (C)V(C) as your syllable structure, then *skal cannot be a word but *askal could.

*skal = CCVC (not allowed)
*askal = VC.CVC (allowed)


Okay, to know if my confusion on the matter totally got me thinking about this wrong, a prothetic or empathetic vowel rule with my (C)V(C) can still make *skal possible? *I got confused with the last page, I'm sorry! >.>*

Or switching my syllable structure to CVCVC would make *a/skal possible.

I'm probably the cause of all the confusion. :lol:

@linguoboy:

Not necessarily. As I said, it also depends on frequency. For instance, if /o/ is twice as common in your language as any other vowel, then it might could be described as "least marked" even though it is rounded.


Oh, I haven't gotten into word building or anything else yet so I don't know which vowel is used the most or will be used the most. Image *Well, besides the example words which I built off of. lol*

By "adjoining vowel" I mean the vowel nearest to cluster, regardless of how many consonants intervene.

For /ren/ + /skal/, I imagine the rules would be the same as for /skal/ alone. /a/ would be the "adjoining vowel" in this case.

Oh, being smashed by between consonants won't interfere with it? I think I get it! :mrgreen:
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Re: Syllable Structure

Postby Alex » Thu 03 Nov 2011 3:34 am

I'm glad you still remember what allophones etc etc are. It was a while ago and you only read it once. I thought you suggested an ablaut feature to the language? :|

If you need more references than wikipedia or your encyclopedias (because yours are so...different), I have some encyclopedias my grandfather gave to me after he took a break from NASA. I could find the parts you need and scan them in and send them or write them in an email, if it would help...?(I don't want you feeling as if I pushed you into this, so just say the word if you want to stop.)

P.S
(You have officially contributed more to the language than me Emma! :lol: You don't need to work this hard if you don't want to. Remember to take breaks and stuff. Ben hasn't even started his conlang yet, so you have time to relax. :) Also, sorry I haven't been on lately, you know school, chores and work. lol Its like I abandoned my baby at your door! :lol: )

Oh, also! Thanks for helping out Emma guys! :D
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Re: Syllable Structure

Postby linguoboy » Thu 03 Nov 2011 5:18 am

Emma wrote:Okay, to know if my confusion on the matter totally got me thinking about this wrong, a prothetic or empathetic vowel rule with my (C)V(C) can still make *skal possible? *I got confused with the last page, I'm sorry! >.>*

Or switching my syllable structure to CVCVC would make *a/skal possible.

I'm probably the cause of all the confusion.

You still seem confused about syllable structure. CVCVC isn't one syllable, it's two. There are two sonority peaks ("V"), two onsets, but only one coda. So they both fit the pattern of (C)V(C).

The confusion seems to be one of levels. You have an underlying form which is /skal/ and a surface form which is /Vskal/. In between, there is an adjustment rule which is motivated by a desire to have surface forms conform to a (C)V(C) syllable structure.

Why have two levels? Because it should make writing morphological rules easier down the road. Say you have an inflectional prefix |e-| and you want to add it to oskal and get eskal rather than *eoskal (or whatever) even though that's not how it works with other vowel-initial words. In that case, you just order your rules so epenthesis applies at the very end, after all the prefixes and suffixes have been added.

Emma wrote:Oh, being smashed by between consonants won't interfere with it? I think I get it! :mrgreen:

That's ultimately up to you. As I mentioned before, you could have different epenthetic vowels in different circumstances. Maybe you have progressive vowel harmony so adding /ren/ to /skal/ gives you /reneskel/. Maybe the link vowel is determined by the inflectional class of /ren/.
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