Phlogiston wrote:This is my first conlang, and as such, is relatively unpolished and somewhat awkward. As such, any feedback is very, very, welcome.
linguoboy wrote:Phlogiston wrote:This is my first conlang, and as such, is relatively unpolished and somewhat awkward. As such, any feedback is very, very, welcome.
What really helps when constructing a phonology is putting the proposed phonemes into a IPA chart-style grid. That makes it easier to see where you have imbalances. Remember, in general phonemes spread to fill the available space. Those that are too similar either shift to increase their distinctiveness or merge. First, let's look at your vowels:
/ɛ/ /ʌ/ /ɔ/ /ɔː/
A number of things stand out. The first is the highly asymmetrical distribution of vowel length. Why is it contrastive only for the low front and mid back rounded vowels and nowhere else? What is the short counterpart of /ɑː/. /ʌ/? /ə/? (Distinguishing those last two vowels is rather unusual crosslinguistically as well; some phonologists contest whether they are even distinct for English.)
Another is the existence of only one front rounded vowel. Again, these are rare crosslinguistically as well; moreover, if a language has only one, it's almost invariably /y/. At least, I can't think of a single attested language which has only /ø/. Another vowel phoneme that is rare in the languages of the world is /æ/.
In general, your low mid-level looks very crowded. Not counting length, you've got two close-mid vowels, one mid, and three open-mid. I find it hard to imagine a natural language where these values would be kept distinct for long.
Phlogiston wrote:It does have /y/.
Phlogiston wrote:As for (ŏ-/ɔː/), I may have misrepresented that in IPA. It is more of the short "o" sound, such as would be in "cot", or represented by the "ŏ" symbol in an English dictionary.
Phlogiston wrote:Although, it would have the å have a long and short sound, /ɔː/ and /ɔ/. (a-/ɑː/) could be (a-/a/), and the long version would be (a-/ɑː/), unless I'm interpreting "long" incorrectly.
Phlogiston wrote:I think I addressed most of the issues, if not all. Did I miss any?
linguoboy wrote:Phlogiston wrote:I think I addressed most of the issues, if not all. Did I miss any?
Er...not really. Now instead of a having a length contrast in only two vowel phonemes, you have it in only one. Now it's your low level that's crowded: /æ/ /æː/ /ɑ/ /ɒ/.
And how did it come about that your only diphthongs are /aɪ/ and /oʊ/?
Overall, your choice of "phonemes" (both vocalic and consonantal) is strikingly similar to English. I'm not sure to what degree that is intentional.
Phlogiston wrote:linguoboy wrote:Er...not really. Now instead of a having a length contrast in only two vowel phonemes, you have it in only one. Now it's your low level that's crowded: /æ/ /æː/ /ɑ/ /ɒ/.
I'll try to fix that. How would you recommend?
Phlogiston wrote:Does the phonology include the digraphs? If so, then I'll put those in.
Phlogiston wrote:I probably didn't go out of my way to make sounds that were (to me) different.
Phlogiston wrote:Anyways, if I do ever finish phonology, what should be next? I know words usually come fairly late, so conjugation? Declension? Cases? Tenses?
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