The CBB

Discuss constructed languages, cultures, worlds, related sciences and much more!
It is currently Sat 27 May 2017, 07:07

All times are UTC + 1 hour




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 15 posts ] 
Author Message
PostPosted: Sat 14 Dec 2013, 17:02 
earth
earth
User avatar

Joined: Sat 14 Aug 2010, 12:28
Posts: 574
...mostly in the form of an inventory dump. By 'small' I mean 12 or fewer consonants, which isn't completely arbitrary since the smallest consonant inventory in Europe (Finnish) has 13, if you ignore the glottal stop and all the loan phonemes.

Inventory dump:
Code:
Rotokas     p   b t d           k g                                           6   
Iau             b t d           k          f     s                            6
Buin        p     t             k g                        m   n       r      7
Puinave     p     t             k                s       h m   n              7
Hawaiian    p                   k        ʔ               h m   n     l     w  8
I'saka      p   b t d           k                s                       j w  8     
Nasioi      p   b t d           k        ʔ                 m   n              8
Piraha      p   b t             k g      ʔ       s       h                    8     
Taoripi     p     t             k          f     s       h m         l        8
Abau        p                   k                s       h m   n       r j w  9
AitaRotokas p   b t d           k g                        m   n   ŋ          9
C.Miyako    p     t             k          f     s         m   n       r   ʋ  9   
Gadsup      p     t d           k        ʔ                 m   n         j β  9     
Onondaga          t           ʤ k        ʔ       s       h     n         j w  9
Pawnee      p     t     ʦ       k        ʔ       s       h             r   w  9
Rapoisi     p     t             k        ʔ       s     ɣ h             r   β  9
Roro        p   b t             k        ʔ               h m   n       r      9
Tahitian    p     t                      ʔ f             h m   n       r   v  9
Bari            b t d           k                s       h m         ɾ r j    10
Cheyenne    p     t             k        ʔ       s ʃ     h m   n           v  10
Crow        p     t         ʧ   k                s ʃ x   h m   n              10
Ekari       p   b t d           k                          m   n     gʟ  j w  10
Gilbertese  p pˠ  t             k                          m mˠn   ŋ   r   βˠ 10
Keuw        p   b t d           k g              s                   l   j w  10
Iñapari     p     t                      ʔ       s       h m   n       r j w  10
Mandan      p     t             k        ʔ       s ʃ x   h             r   w  10
Maori       p     t             k          f             h m   n   ŋ   r   w  10
Maxakali    p   b t d           k g      ʔ         ʃ     h               j    10
Mekeo       p     t             k        ʔ f     s         m   n   ŋ l        10
NaskapiCree p     t        ʧ    k                s       h m   n         j w  10
Niuean      p     t             k          f             h m   n   ŋ l     v  10
Palauan         b t d           k        ʔ       s         m       ŋ l r      10
Samoan      p                   k        ʔ f     s       h m       ŋ l     v  10
Sentani     p     t             k          f             h m   n     l   j w  10
S.Barasano      b t d           k g              s       h             r j w  10
Tinputz     p     t             k        ʔ       s       h m   n       r   β  10
Tiriyo      p     t             k                s       h m   n       r j w  10
Warao       p     t             k   kʷ           s       h m   n       r j w  10
Wichita           t     ʦ       k   kʷ   ʔ       s       h     n         j w  10
Xavante     p   b t d       ʧ ʤ          ʔ               h             r   w  10
Ache        p   b t d       ʧ ʤ k g                        m         l     v  11
Ainu        p     t     ʦ       k                s       h m   n       r j w  11
Angaataha   p     t             k        ʔ         ʃ       m   n   ŋ   r j w  11
Arabela     p     t             k                s ʃ     h m   n       r j w  11
Arikapu     p     t         ʧ   k                        h m   n       r j w  11
Asmat       p     t         ʧ   k          f     s         m   n       r j w  11
Auca        p   b t d           k g                        m   n ɲ ŋ       w  11
BarasanaEd. p   b t d       c ɟ k g                      h             r   w  11
Cayuga            t     ʦ       k   kʷ   ʔ       s       h     n       r j w  11
Cherokee          t     ʦ       k        ʔ       s       h m   n     l   j ɰ  11
Cubeo       p   b t d       ʧ   k              ð         h             r j w  11
Dera        p   b t d           k g                        m   n   ŋ     j w  11
Fasu        p     t             k          ɸ     s       h m   n       r j w  11
Karitiana   p     t             k                s       h m   n   ŋ   r j w  11
Koiari          b t d           k g        f   ð         h m   n       r      11
Irantxe     p     t             k        ʔ       s       h m   n     l   j w  11
Iwam        p     t             k                s       h m   n   ŋ   r j w  11
Maranao     p     t             k        ʔ                 m   n   ŋ l r j w  11
Menominee   p     t         ʧ   k        ʔ       s       h m   n         j w  11
MiamiIll    p     t         ʧ   k                s ʃ     h m   n         j w  11
Mohawk            t     ʦ       k   kʷ   ʔ       s       h     n       r j w  11
Nukak       p   b t d       ʧ ʤ k g      ʔ               h             r      11
Oneida            t     ʦ       k   kʷ   ʔ       s       h     n     l   j w  11
Seneca            t       ʣ   ʤ k        ʔ       s ʃ     h     n         j w  11
Shawnee     p     t         ʧ   k        ʔ   θ     ʃ       m   n         j w  11
Tigak       p   b t             k g              s         m   n   ŋ l r      11
Tuscarora         t         ʧ   k        ʔ   θ   s       h     n       r j w  11
Tuyuca      p   b t d           k g              s       h             r j w  11
Yagua       p     t     ʦ   ʧ   k                        h m   n       r j w  11
Arapaho         b t         ʧ   k        ʔ   θ   s   x   h     n         j w  12
Awa         p   b t             k g      ʔ       s         m   n       r j w  12
Bandjalang  p     t         c   k                          m   n ɲ ŋ l r j w  12
Cacua       p     t         ʧ   k        ʔ ʍ             h m   n   ŋ l     w  12
Chuave          b t d           k g        f     s         m   n       r j w  12
Comanche    p     t     ʦ       k   kʷ   ʔ       s       h m   n         j w  12
Cree        p     t         ʧ   k                s ʃ     h m   n       r j w  12
Djeoromitxi p     t         ʧ ʤ k                        h m   n       r   w  12
Huaorani    p   b t d         ɟ k g                        m   n ɲ ŋ       w  12
Ikpeng      p     t         ʧ   k g                        m   n   ŋ l r j w  12
Irarutu         b t d           k g        ɸ     s         m   n       r j w  12
Jamamadi        b t           ɟ k        ʔ ɸ     s       h̃ m   n       r   w  12
Karaja          b   d ɗ     ʧ ʤ k            θ     ʃ     h           l r   w  12
Ket             b t d           k      q         s ç     h m   n   ŋ ɮ        12
Nagovisi    p   b t d           k g      ʔ       s         m   n       r   β  12
Nimboran    p   b t d           k g              s       h m   n   ŋ   r      12
Rarotongan  p     t             k        ʔ f     s       h m   n   ŋ   r   v  12
S. Kiwai    p   b t d           k g      ʔ       s         m   n       r   w  12
Tifal           b t d           k          f     s         m   n   ŋ l   j w  12
Tongan      p     t             k        ʔ f     s       h m   n   ŋ l     v  12


There are a number of things you can do in small consonant inventories.

Voicing in plosives:
May be totally absent, as in the Polynesian languages (sometimes they have /v/ but I grouped that as a form of /w/).
May be fully present, as in Xavante or Rotokas.
May be present for only some of the plosives. Note that you can eliminate voicing contrasts for any one POA, though if you eliminate it only in the labials, you'll end up with /b/, not /p/. Piraha, Awa, and Tigak have /p b t k g/ with no /d/; I'm guessing it became /r/. (Iau /d/ is notable within the Lakes-Plain languages for *not* allowing flapping of /d/ -- most of them do.)
Some of these languages have /g/ with no /b d/; this seems to come from lenition processes, where either p t k or b d g > w r g -- so g fails to lenite but the other plosives do. This happened in Ikpeng (where lenition applied intervocalically and /k/ redeveloped through cluster loss) and also in Rotokas though it doesn't show up on the chart -- /b d/ are usually [β ɾ] but I don't know if /g/ lenites.)

POAs:
May have no labials, as with Oneida and Tuscarora. Comanche is the only language here to have both labials and /kʷ/, but it's spoken in the general vicinity of languages with /kʷ/ and no labials.
Xavante and Tahitian have no velars. I'm guessing /k/ backed to /ʔ/ in Tahitian and /k g/ fronted in Xavante, but I don't know.
It is not necessarily the case that you need three stop POAs. Abau only has /p k/.
Samoan merged its alveolars into velars, except /l/. Chain shift in the stops: t :> k > ʔ. It already had /ŋ/ when /n/ merged into it though.
Affricates only appear in American languages in this sample. Most of the American languages made it onto the list by having no labials.
Maximum of three non-glottal POAs except in Bandjalang, which is the only Australian language here.

Fricatives:
Bandjalang has the largest inventory here with no fricatives, and it's Australian.
The presence of fricatives usually implies /h/, but some have /s/ as their only fricative. If there's a fricative that isn't /s/, there's also /h/ -- except in Cubeo, which only has /x/. If there's /f/, there's usually /s h/; the only exceptions are Polynesian, except Sentani, which is Papuan, and Koiari, which for some bizarre reason has /ð/.
None of these languages has more than three fricatives, unless you count Polynesian /v/ as a fricative. Tuscarora has /θ s h/, Seneca has /s ʃ h/, and Koiari has /f ð h/, but the most common three-fricative inventory by far is /f s h/. /x/ doesn't appear in any of these languages except Cubeo.

The glottal stop:
Not as necessary as you might think: about a third of the languages here don't have it. Of the ones that do, some (Polynesian) got it through debuccalization of another plosive.

Nasals:
Nasals actually do not imply /n/. Samoan is not anymore the only language here to have nasals without /n/, and it merged its alveolars into velars.
/ŋ/ implies /m/. /p n/ also imply /m/.
Many of the languages here with missing nasals are Amazonian languages with a full inventory of nasal vowels -- nasals are allophones of voiced stops around nasal vowels. In Piraha, nasals [m n] are allophones of /b g/ word-initially. In Keuw, voiced stops vary freely with nasals, and voiceless stops can be freely prenasalized. Rotokas and Iau really do have no nasals.

Liquids:
Surprisingly, /w/ (or /v/) is more common than /j/ -- the only language with /j/ and no /w/ is Maxakali.
Ekari has a velar lateral affricate /gʟ/.
/l r/ contrast is more common than you might think, even in these small inventories. It's really not that European a feature.

Iau:
...is worthy of special mention here for being probably the most phonologically bizarre language on the planet. It has six consonants, /b t d k f s/. /f/ is [ɸ~h] word-initially, but is [x] preceding /i/; word-medially it's [h]; and word-finally (/f/ is the only consonant that can occur word-finally) it's an unreleased stop [p]. /b d/ vary with nasals, and can be implosive before /ã/; /d/ can also be [l], but is never flapped.
There are eight vowels: /ã æ~ɛ ɪ i ɔ ʊ u/ and a fricated vowel /i̝/. /ã/ is always nasalized.
Despite all this, most words are monosyllabic -- and the reason Iau can pull this off is that, well, not only does it have eight tones (two level and six contour), it has tone clusters -- more than one tone can appear on a word. There is an extensive system of tone-based verbal derivation:
tai2 'pull'
tai3 'has been pulled off'
tai21 'might pull'
tai43 'land on'
tai24 'fell to ground'
tai23 'fall to ground (incompletive)'
tai34 'pull off'
tai243 'falling to ground (durative)'
tai21-34 'pull on, shake' (nb: two *different* contour tones)
tai21-3 'have pulled on, have shaken'


Last edited by Nortaneous on Mon 20 Jan 2014, 08:28, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat 14 Dec 2013, 17:38 
cuneiform
cuneiform

Joined: Mon 25 Nov 2013, 15:39
Posts: 181
I have a question... how is it possible to get the standard size of a European vocabulary with only 6-12 consonants, 5 vowels and only CV-structures?! Since I do not speak any Polynesian language, I've really always wondered if words are either incredibely long or super ambiguous... let's imagine I have /p t k s h m n l r w j/, then there would be only 55 possible syllables in my language? This is just like baking bread with only a tea spoon of flour, it simply doesn't work... well obviously it does, but how?!


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat 14 Dec 2013, 17:48 
darkness
darkness
User avatar

Joined: Sat 21 Jan 2012, 12:17
Posts: 3301
Well, it does work if you use longer words, but even these do not need to be very long at all. Actually, with 55 possible syllables, you can have a whopping total of 166375 trisyllabic words. With monosyllables and disyllables added, there are 169455 words. More than enough, innit? [;)]


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat 14 Dec 2013, 18:22 
cuneiform
cuneiform

Joined: Mon 25 Nov 2013, 15:39
Posts: 181
I have a perfect example for a conlang with a very small consonant inventory... OK, it's not a conlang, but only a bunch of syllables with no meaning, but maybe we could make it a conlang?!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RRQlsvWMWBo

Code:
a e i o u

p t k
m n
s h
l r


I don't know if I missed any consonant...


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat 14 Dec 2013, 23:06 
greek
greek

Joined: Thu 31 Jan 2013, 07:48
Posts: 498
Quote:
Sanomi Helé
Manilla Keranu
Aliya Irema Nia Lago
Ture Madilé

Sanomi Helé
Manilla Keranu
Aliya Irema Nia Madilé

Kenatu Narilé
Lakenatu Narilé
Pasema Niamo Ture Saro
Delamaoré

There's <d> and <g>. Otherwise, the 'language' has a nice Austronesian feel to it


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun 15 Dec 2013, 00:07 
earth
earth
User avatar

Joined: Sat 14 Aug 2010, 12:28
Posts: 574
Plusquamperfekt wrote:
I have a question... how is it possible to get the standard size of a European vocabulary with only 6-12 consonants, 5 vowels and only CV-structures?! Since I do not speak any Polynesian language, I've really always wondered if words are either incredibely long or super ambiguous... let's imagine I have /p t k s h m n l r w j/, then there would be only 55 possible syllables in my language? This is just like baking bread with only a tea spoon of flour, it simply doesn't work... well obviously it does, but how?!

Rotokas has very long words:

osirei-toarei avuka-va iava ururupa-vira tou-pa-si-veira
eye-MASC.DL old-FEM.SG POST closed-ADV be-PROG-2.DL.MASC-HABITUAL

As for Iau, it's mostly monosyllabic (though there are a few hundred disyllabic words), but it still has a larger number of possible syllables than Mandarin: though it has only six consonants, and the only possible final (uncommon as it is) is -f (realized [p]), it has eight vowels, eleven diphthongs, two triphthongs, and eight tones -- and more than one tone can appear per word. Most of those tone clusters only appear on derived verbs, but three can appear on roots. I don't know much about Iau beyond the phonology but it looks like they use a lot of compounds.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun 15 Dec 2013, 00:44 
cuneiform
cuneiform

Joined: Mon 25 Nov 2013, 15:39
Posts: 181
Ambrisio wrote:
Quote:
Sanomi Helé
Manilla Keranu
Aliya Irema Nia Lago
Ture Madilé

Sanomi Helé
Manilla Keranu
Aliya Irema Nia Madilé

Kenatu Narilé
Lakenatu Narilé
Pasema Niamo Ture Saro
Delamaoré

There's <d> and <g>. Otherwise, the 'language' has a nice Austronesian feel to it


Code:
p t d k g
m n
s h
l r j


Hmmmm, for some reason I can't get rid of the suspicion that "sanomi" means "woman" and "keranu" means "man" and "hele" means "love"... :/


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun 15 Dec 2013, 02:27 
MVP
MVP
User avatar

Joined: Wed 07 Aug 2013, 00:26
Posts: 630
Location: displaced from Helsinki
Plusquamperfekt wrote:
I have a question... how is it possible to get the standard size of a European vocabulary with only 6-12 consonants, 5 vowels and only CV-structures?! Since I do not speak any Polynesian language, I've really always wondered if words are either incredibely long or super ambiguous... let's imagine I have /p t k s h m n l r w j/, then there would be only 55 possible syllables in my language? This is just like baking bread with only a tea spoon of flour, it simply doesn't work... well obviously it does, but how?!


Longer words aren't even needed that acutely. With 55 allowed syllables you already have 3025 disyllabic words. This starts to be more than enough to cover the basic underived vocabulary. Most words will be longer due to being derivations or having inflectional morphology stacked on top of them but there's little need for long roots.

_________________
ImageKištaLkal sikSeicMyths and beliefs of the Kišta (pdf)


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun 15 Dec 2013, 11:25 
mayan
mayan
User avatar

Joined: Thu 28 Jul 2011, 02:57
Posts: 2043
Location: Glasgow, Scotland
Finally had a chance to read this, there's some cool stuff in here.
It's nice to see that when I began trimming Iriex's inventory down, I chose the most likely culprits to go.

_________________
I am Ànradh.
Here is my conworld, some scenes from its first narrative, my art and my music.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri 20 Dec 2013, 21:36 
mongolian
mongolian
User avatar

Joined: Sat 03 Sep 2011, 04:14
Posts: 3989
Location: Texas
I find it interesting how dental fricatives are rare phonemes yet they appear in even these tiny invenstories. Especially that one that has only /ð h/--I didn't even know that was possible.

_________________
Nūdenku waga honji ma naku honyasi ne ika-ika ichamase!
female-appearance=despite boy-voice=PAT hold boy-youth=TOP very be.cute-3PL
Honyasi zō honyasi ma naidasu.
boy-youth=AGT boy-youth=PAT love.romantically-3S


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun 22 Dec 2013, 19:49 
earth
earth
User avatar

Joined: Sat 14 Aug 2010, 12:28
Posts: 574
What, Cubeo? It's marginal there: IIRC it's an allophone of /j/, but it can't be substituted with /j/ in about twelve words so it's analyzed as phonemic.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun 22 Dec 2013, 19:53 
greek
greek
User avatar

Joined: Sun 22 Jan 2012, 18:33
Posts: 523
Chagen wrote:
I find it interesting how dental fricatives are rare phonemes yet they appear in even these tiny invenstories. Especially that one that has only /ð h/--I didn't even know that was possible.

Maybe because the fricative inventory was more expansive in the past but then suffered a number of mergers?

_________________
I kill threads!


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon 23 Dec 2013, 00:05 
light
light
User avatar

Joined: Fri 20 Aug 2010, 02:04
Posts: 1010
Location: Berlin, Germany
Shrdlu wrote:
Chagen wrote:
I find it interesting how dental fricatives are rare phonemes yet they appear in even these tiny invenstories. Especially that one that has only /ð h/--I didn't even know that was possible.

Maybe because the fricative inventory was more expansive in the past but then suffered a number of mergers?

Or maybe /ð/ here is an approximant? /h/ as only fricative isn't unheared of, especially in the area where Cubeo is spoken.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon 23 Dec 2013, 01:22 
greek
greek
User avatar

Joined: Sun 22 Jan 2012, 18:33
Posts: 523
It's a fair guesses as far as I'm concerned because it all boils down to that we don't know.

_________________
I kill threads!


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon 23 Dec 2013, 02:16 
shadowlight
shadowlight
User avatar

Joined: Sat 16 Oct 2010, 01:14
Posts: 2680
Location: North
Nortaneous wrote:
What, Cubeo? It's marginal there: IIRC it's an allophone of /j/, but it can't be substituted with /j/ in about twelve words so it's analyzed as phonemic.

According to Gramátic del cubeo /j/ has eight allophones: [j j̃ ð ð̃ dʒ ɲ nnj].

    • [j] occurs between /i ĩ/ and a following oral vowel: /bĩˈbĩjo/ → [mĩˈmĩjo]
    • [j̃] also occurs between /i ĩ/ and a following nasal vowel: /ĩˈjõrɨ̃/ → [ĩˈj̃õrɨ̃]
    • [ð] occurs after /ɑ ɑ̃ e ẽ o õ/ if the second vowel is oral: /dõˈjobo/ → [dõˈðobo]
    • [ð̃] occurs between non-high nasalized vowels: /ɑ̃ˈjɑ̃/ → [ɑ̃ˈð̃ɑ̃]
    • [dʒ] occurs after /u ũ ɨ ɨ̃/, and before an oral vowel: /ɑˈbukuja/ → [ɑˈbukudʒa]
    • [ɲ] occurs after /u ũ ɨ ɨ̃/, and before a nasalized vowel: /jɑ̃ˈbĩ/ → [ɲɑ̃ˈbĩ]
    • [ndʒ] and [nj] occur in free variation at the beginning of a word if the following vowel is oral: /jɨí/ → [ndʒɨí] ~ [nj]ɨí]

My Spanish is terrible so I might've missed some finer details. Those of you who know Spanish can find the PDF here.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 15 posts ] 

All times are UTC + 1 hour


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group
Americanized by Maël Soucaze.