The Esseintial Ałýýla Thread

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The Esseintial Ałýýla Thread

Post by DesEsseintes » Mon 23 Feb 2015, 17:00

Welcome to the Esseintial Ałýýla Thread!

In this thread I want to yet again try and rework some ideas I've had into a speedlang, perhaps with a little help from my CBB friends. [:)]

Design Objectives

Some of you may know that I'm currently working on a family of polysynthetic languages inspired by Algonquian. My flagship project in that family is Hííenununóóoþa (see link in sig).

I have constantly reworked the Hííenununóóoþa phonology to the point where the original phonology as laid out in the beginning of the thread is almost entirely obsolete. However, there were several features of that phonology and subsequent intermediate iterations that I quite liked, and having rejected them in Hííenununóóoþa, I've decided to recycle them in a little toylang that will hopefully grow up to be its own thing.

Ałýýla will most likely have a rich morphology, verbal and nominal. It may turn out to be polysynthetic, but it's too early to say.

In-World Background

Ałýýla is a language isolate spoken in the same region of the world as the Híí languages and forms a sprachbund with them. It therefore shares many features of the Híí languages, especially phonological. I envisage considerable interaction between the Ałýýla speakers and the various Híí tribes, as the Ałýýla will most likely be allies of the Hííenununóóoþa speakers in their ongoing conflict with the rest of the Híí tribes. As a result, there will most likely be a lot of Híí loanwords in Ałýýla and vice versa.

Phonology coming up!
Last edited by DesEsseintes on Mon 23 Feb 2015, 18:16, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: The Esseintial Ałýýla Thread

Post by DesEsseintes » Mon 23 Feb 2015, 17:07

1.Phonology

As mentioned in my previous post, Ałýýla phonology shares many features with the Híí languages, including relatively few consonant phonemes, a general lack of voicing contrast, and an abundance of fricatives. However, Ałýýla has a somewhat larger vowel inventory than any of the Híí languages.

Phoneme Inventory

Consonants
Edit: This section has now been updated in line with decisions taken below. The original consonant inventory has been spoilered
Spoiler: show
There are at least the following 13 consonant phonemes:

/m n/ m n
/p t k ʔ/ p t k
/s ɬ ʃ h/ s ł š h
/l j w/ l y w
There are 16 consonant phonemes (not so few after all...)

/m n/ m n
/p t t͡ʃ k ʔ/ p t č k '
/s ɬ ʃ x h/ s ł š x h
/ð̞~z̞ l j w/ z l ȷ v

- /t͡ʃ ʃ/ are underlyingly |kj xj| but are phonemic synchronically - a more conservative realisation of these phonemes is [c~c͡ç ç]
- /ð̞~z̞/ is generally realised [ð̞] between low and mid vowels but tends to be [z̞] adjacent to a high vowel - for some speakers a rhotic realisation [ɹ̟] is common in all environments
- /j/ is [ɥ] adjacent to front rounded vowels

Vowels

There are 7 phonemic vowels in modern Ałýýla:

/i y u/ ı y u
/e ø o/ e ø o
/a/ a

All vowels can occur long or short.

That's all I've decided on so far. But it might all change. (Edit: Indeed it did.)

Some ideas I amwas considering:
- having /b/ instead of /p/ and write it off as a Hííenununóóoþa influence [cross]
- I might add /t͡ʃ x/ and have /t͡ʃ ʃ/ be reflexes of earlier /kj xj/ - again very similar to Hííenununóóoþa [tick]
- adding /z~ð/ to the approximants [tick] , or:
- having a voicing distinction in the fricatives [cross]
- adding nasal vowels [cross]

I'm really open to ideas here; feel free to contribute.
Last edited by DesEsseintes on Wed 25 Feb 2015, 11:20, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: The Esseintial Ałýýla Thread

Post by shimobaatar » Mon 23 Feb 2015, 19:55

DesEsseintes wrote:It may turn out to be polysynthetic, but it's too early to say.
[:P]
DesEsseintes wrote:All but glottal stops and fricatives can occur geminate.
In what environments?
DesEsseintes wrote:There are 7 phonemic vowels in modern Ałýýla:

/i y u/ ı y u
/e ø o/ e ø o
/a/ a

All vowels can occur long or short.
What do the acute accents, such as the ones in the language's name, represent? Tone, pitch, stress, or something else?

Are there any diphthongs/triphthongs?

Also, are /j y/ purposefully romanized the same way (<y>)?
DesEsseintes wrote:That's all I've decided on so far.
Looks good so far.

I'm looking forward to seeing what you decide on in terms of phonotactics and allophony, let alone morphosyntax and such.
DesEsseintes wrote:- having /b/ instead of /p/ and write it off as a Hííenununóóoþa influence
- I might add /t͡ʃ x/ and have /t͡ʃ ʃ/ be reflexes of earlier /kj xj/ - again very similar to Hííenununóóoþa
Hmm… I like these ideas, but I'm not sure exactly how similar to Hííenununóóoþa you want the language to be. If you don't mind lots of similarities (in phonology, at least), then I say yes to both of these. However, if you want Ałýýla to be as distinct as possible within the Sprachbund, then I'd say no to these.

Actually, for the first one, maybe you could add /b/ alongside of /p/? Especially if you're going to have one voiced fricative, you could have one voiced stop?
DesEsseintes wrote:- adding /z~ð/ to the approximants, or:
- having a voicing distinction in the fricatives
I'd just add /z~ð/, but maybe have it act as a voiced counterpart of sorts for the three coronal fricatives? Maybe add allophones [ʒ ɮ]?
DesEsseintes wrote:- adding nasal vowels
I definitely say no to this one; I just feel nasal vowels would be "out of place" in this phonology, for whatever reason.
DesEsseintes wrote:I'm really open to ideas here; feel free to contribute.
If you decide to add them, in terms of romanization, I'd recommend: /b t͡ʃ x z~ð/ b č x z

Also, /j y/ ȷ y
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Re: The Esseintial Ałýýla Thread

Post by thaen » Mon 23 Feb 2015, 20:25

shimobaatar wrote:If you decide to add them, in terms of romanization, I'd recommend: /b t͡ʃ x z~ð/ b č x z

Also, /j y/ ȷ y
I dunno. IMO, <č> looks out of place, at least compared to the Híí family. You may want the orthographic difference to more explicitly denote the separation of the languages. Now I see that /ʃ/ is represented <š>. <č> now looks like it belongs, and aside from my general dislike of the circumflex, but that doesn't have anything to do with whether or not you should use it. [:P]
I quite like the /j y/ <y y>. In one of my first conlangs, I had something quite similar, with a diaeresis over the <y> when there was the need to disambiguate. But that's just me.
DesEsseintes wrote:/s ɬ ʃ h/ s ł š h
I [<3] /ɬ/ <ł>! In two of my first conlangs, I had /ɬ/ <lh>, but I like <ł> better. /ɬ/ is probably one of my favorite phonemes! I luv this.

==

You have inspired me to make a language family, containing, as of now, both Nillahimma and Øð, and probably some others. the Híí languages are the reason I'm putting tone in Øð. Messed up my stress-based morpheme placement, but I'll get over it. :p Anyways, thanks for being inspiring! :D

And, btw, I love the word Ałýýla. You have the knack for making very pretty words.

I cannot wait to the the morphology!
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Re: The Esseintial Ałýýla Thread

Post by DesEsseintes » Tue 24 Feb 2015, 13:32

Thanks for the feedback, shimobaatar and thaen! [:)]
shimobaatar wrote:What do the acute accents, such as the ones in the language's name, represent? Tone, pitch, stress, or something else?
Probably tone.
Are there any diphthongs/triphthongs?
At this stage, no. I will deal with vowel sequences soon.
Also, are /j y/ purposefully romanized the same way (<y>)?

Yes. I'm in two minds still though and I will use ȷ if I find too much resultant ambiguity.

I couldn't help laughing when you suggested ȷ! You know me too well! [:P]
shimobaatar wrote:
DesEsseintes wrote:All but glottal stops and fricatives can occur geminate.
In what environments?

Erm, that's me being retarded and writing sth very different from what I intended. [:$] I will deal with this in the upcoming post on phonotactics.
thaen wrote:You have inspired me to make a language family, containing, as of now, both Nillahimma and Øð, and probably some others. the Híí languages are the reason I'm putting tone in Øð. Messed up my stress-based morpheme placement, but I'll get over it. :p Anyways, thanks for being inspiring! :D

Aww, I feel all warm and glowy inside now. [:)]
And, btw, I love the word Ałýýla. You have the knack for making very pretty words.

And this just made my day! [<3] [:D] :mrgreen:

Oh, and yeah, ł is the awesomest grapheme ever!

Decision Time

- I'm going to be adding /ð̞~z̞/ to the approximants, and therefore there will be no voiced fricatives
- /t͡ʃ x/ are being added, bringing the phonology very much in line with Hííenununóóoþa
- no nasal vowels for now
- /p/ will stay as it is for now; perhaps a voiced realisation will be symptomatic of Hííenununóóoþa snobs amongst the Ałýýla

I have updated the phonology post above with these changes and added some details. Have a look!

Some Further Ponderables

- I'm considering adding /ŋ/
- /t͡ʃ ʃ/ will still be romanised č š for now; I'm not a big fan of these graphemes though and may switch to ch sh later on
- I'm wondering whether to use v for /w/; it goes well with y
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Re: The Esseintial Ałýýla Thread

Post by Thrice Xandvii » Tue 24 Feb 2015, 15:05

thaen wrote:I [<3] /ɬ/ <ł>! In two of my first conlangs, I had /ɬ/ <lh>, but I like <ł> better. /ɬ/ is probably one of my favorite phonemes! I luv this.
I too enjoy that phoneme (though not the crossed l so much, prolly why I use λ for it). I like that its found a way into this phonology... Which seems very similar to Híí.
- I'm considering adding /ŋ/
- /t͡ʃ ʃ/ will still be romanised č š for now; I'm not a big fan of these graphemes though and may switch to ch sh later on
- I'm wondering whether to use v for /w/; it goes well with y
Were I to have a vote I'd say: yes; keep the carons, digraphs aren't cool; yes!
Last edited by Thrice Xandvii on Sat 28 Feb 2015, 11:33, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Esseintial Ałýýla Thread

Post by Prinsessa » Tue 24 Feb 2015, 15:58

shimobaatar wrote:I definitely say no to this one; I just feel nasal vowels would be "out of place" in this phonology, for whatever reason.
Really? It does indeed look a lot like Algonquian inventories (and reminiscent of Athabaskan if you remove all the distinctions in manner of articulation, and North American natlangs in general) and many of those languages do have nasal vowels.
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Re: The Esseintial Ałýýla Thread

Post by DesEsseintes » Tue 24 Feb 2015, 16:42

So tell us what you think, Prinsessa. [:)]
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Re: The Esseintial Ałýýla Thread

Post by Prinsessa » Tue 24 Feb 2015, 16:55

About nasal vowels: they're cool, but it is is equally fine to lack them. c;

Inventory is neat, anyhow. Can't really say much about it. I'd be interested in seeing phonotactics and allophony!
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Re: The Esseintial Ałýýla Thread

Post by shimobaatar » Tue 24 Feb 2015, 21:13

DesEsseintes wrote:- I'm considering adding /ŋ/
I'd vote no.
DesEsseintes wrote:- /t͡ʃ ʃ/ will still be romanised č š for now; I'm not a big fan of these graphemes though and may switch to ch sh later on
If you don't like <č š>, don't use them.
DesEsseintes wrote:- I'm wondering whether to use v for /w/; it goes well with y
Go for it. I personally don't have a preference in this situation.
Prinsessa wrote:Really? It does indeed look a lot like Algonquian inventories (and reminiscent of Athabaskan if you remove all the distinctions in manner of articulation, and North American natlangs in general) and many of those languages do have nasal vowels.
Yes, in my own personal opinion, for whatever reason, really.
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Re: The Esseintial Ałýýla Thread

Post by thaen » Tue 24 Feb 2015, 21:15

Why not breathy-voiced vowels instead of nasal vowels? I think it would be kinda fun.
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Re: The Esseintial Ałýýla Thread

Post by DesEsseintes » Wed 25 Feb 2015, 10:10

Brief update:

No new vowel phonemes have been added as of yet.

/j w/ will be romanised ȷ v.

/ʔ/ will be romanised ˀ : a) when I'm in a good mood; b) when I have lots of free time; c) when I want to make sure the Ałýýla sample in question looks awesome. Otherwise the oh-so-typable ' will be used.

Phonotactics coming soon!
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Re: The Esseintial Ałýýla Thread

Post by DesEsseintes » Wed 25 Feb 2015, 11:14

2. Phonotactics

Here is an outline of basic phonotactics. Some of the sections here will require further analysis at a later stage, but I don't want to let that hold me back.

The Syllable

Syllable structure is roughly

(C)V(ː)(C(ː))

The consonant coda is any of /s ɬ x h ʔ/. The fricatives /s ɬ x/ can occur geminate except word-finally as a result of cluster gemination as outlined below.

I will probably permit /p t/ in coda word-finally in addition to the phonemes listed above.

Note that a long-vowel nucleus can cooccur with a geminate consonant coda, e.g. akúússtuzał.

Vowel Sequences and Glide Excrescence

As consonant onsets are not compulsory, many morphemes are vowel-initial. However there are restrictions on permissible vowel sequences.

A high vowel can be followed by the low vowel a without an intervening glide. A high vowel can also be followed by a mid vowel of the same frontedness and roundedness. As a result, words such as áázıa nýýa umuattó łíe yyspýø ahuó'o are permissible.

All other vowel sequences are resolved by excrescence.

The most common form of excrescence is glide insertion. I haven't fine-tuned this yet, but roughly speaking a glide gets inserted between two vowels in a row. The nature of the glide depends on the first vowel. Some examples:

e + a → eȷa
ø + a → øȷa
o + a → ova

e + o → eȷo
e + ø → eȷø
ø + e → øȷe
ø + o → øȷo
o + e → ove
o + ø → ovø


Gemination

Many consonants and consonant clusters can be geminated word-medially.

p → pp
t → tt
č → čč
(rare)
k → kk
l → ll
ł → łł
z → zz
s → ss
v → vv
ȷ → ȷȷ


Here are some examples of geminate clusters. The fricative part of the cluster geminates.

łp łt łč łk → łłp łłt łłč łłk
sp st sk → ssp sst ssk
xp xt xč xk → xxp xxt xxč xxk


Permissible Word-Initials

Permissible word-initial sounds in Ałýýla are surprisingly few. This will probably be due to bound morphemes predominating in the language and many sounds not occurring in prefixes.

Words cannot start in:
- a mid vowel
- a stop/affricate
- x š

This leaves the following phonemes available at the beginning of a word:
a ı u y
m n
s ł h
z l v ȷ


This restriction on word-initial phonemes is my favourite Ałýýla feature so far.
Last edited by DesEsseintes on Thu 26 Feb 2015, 09:04, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Esseintial Ałýýla Thread

Post by shimobaatar » Wed 25 Feb 2015, 22:49

Very interesting phonotactics! The initial constraints are also my favorite part thus far, but I'm looking forward to seeing more of the language in general.
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Re: The Esseintial Ałýýla Thread

Post by thaen » Wed 25 Feb 2015, 23:05

/e ø o/ e ø o
I forgot to mention this, but [<3] Huzzah! I love this phone! And it's awesome you're using it's IPA character in the orthography; it's an aesthetic for me.

I, too, like the restraints; it will give the language its distinctive sound. [:D] You can do a simple test to determine whether or not a word can be from Ałýýla: does it begin in (insert illegal word-initial onsets here)? If so, then nope!
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Re: The Esseintial Ałýýla Thread

Post by kanejam » Thu 26 Feb 2015, 02:18

This is really cool! The word-initial constraints are interesting, but what I really like are the constraints on vowel sequences. Very nice!

One thought, in all the example words, only a single syllable has high tone. Maybe this language only allows tone on one syllable (or at least a restricted number of syllables) ie a pitch accent, maybe lexical or grammatical. It would be an interesting point of difference with the Híí languages.
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Re: The Esseintial Ałýýla Thread

Post by shimobaatar » Thu 26 Feb 2015, 02:24

kanejam wrote:One thought, in all the example words, only a single syllable has high tone. Maybe this language only allows tone on one syllable (or at least a restricted number of syllables) ie a pitch accent, maybe lexical or grammatical. It would be an interesting point of difference with the Híí languages.
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Re: The Esseintial Ałýýla Thread

Post by Birdlang » Sat 28 Feb 2015, 11:21

Thrice Xandvii wrote:
thaen wrote:I [<3] /ɬ/ <ł>! In two of my first conlangs, I had /ɬ/ <lh>, but I like <ł> better. /ɬ/ is probably one of my favorite phonemes! I luv this.
I too enjoy that phoneme (though not the crossed l so much, prolly why I use λ for it). I like that its found a way into this phonology... Which seems very similar to Híí.
- I'm considering adding /ŋ/
- /t͡ʃ ʃ/ will still be romanised č š for now; I'm not a big fan of these graphemes though and may switch to ch sh later on
- I'm wondering whether to use v for /w/; it goes well with y
Were I to have a vote I'd say: yes; keep the carons, digraphs aren't cool; yes!
+1 for c/s with caron. You could use eng or n with long leg, but n with long leg (or n with dot above which I also recommend) is not very well supported in Unicode (maybe the iPhone and Windows Phone have a lot of Unicode, but maybe just the Windows phone). Add a voiceless dental fricative and romanize it the same way you did in the language you are currently doing, both this and the languages you make remind me of Blackfoot, and TLFKAT reminds me of Nuu-cha-nulth. What was Ałýýla based off of?
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Re: The Esseintial Ałýýla Thread

Post by Birdlang » Sat 28 Feb 2015, 11:24

Also. Add in creaky voiced/breathy voiced/pharyngealized vowels, which will add tone (low, mid high, and on long vowels rising and falling). As well, what happened with Preposterous???
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Re: The Esseintial Ałýýla Thread

Post by smappy » Sun 01 Mar 2015, 07:52

You could just use kȷ xȷ for č š— this would reflect the historical phonology too.

I'm curious to see how the tone/pitch-accent system interacts with morphology. I'm also curious to see how Híí words change shape when borrowed into Ałýýla, what with all the phonological constraints in Ałýýla.
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