Friday, July 5, 2013

Vowel Arrangement

I’ve been trying to expand on my idea from the last post about using the lowered equivalents of raised long vowels to avoid the awkward diphthongs /ai/ and /au/, but I ran into a bit of a roadblock when I realized that that was going to “break” ē and ō, which were already raised from ɛ̄ and ɔ̄. I think I’ve got it solved, though, by giving a little nod to Wulfilas and rearranging my prejudices about diphthongs. So here’s my revised vowel system to Gytc:

Short vowels

i [i]
y [y]
e [e]*
œ [ø]*
a [a]
a [ə]
o [o]*
u [u]
* The short middle vowels o, e, and œ, fall somewhere between [o,e,ø] and [ɔ,ɛ,œ], respectively. Their long equivalents are more closed.

Long vowels

ē [i:]
ȳ [y:]
ai [e:]
œ̄ [ø:]

ā [a:]
au [o:]
ō [u:]


ī [ai]
ū [au]
ei [ei]*
eu [eu]*

* /ei/ and /eu/ are the i-umlaut forms of /ai/ and /au/, respectively.

Okay, back to work.

So after a bit of a hiatus, I’ve been prompted by one of my conlang groups to keep working on gytc, so I’m getting back to work.

Yeah, um... this:

So that prompted this:

I’ve still got some work to do on it -- finding better unicode letters to represent various letters without mucking around with the whole private use subsets and creating a font and whatnot; finding better transliterations for a couple of characters; reevaluating my phonemic inventory -- but it’s a start.

Otherwise, not much has changed on the Gytc front, except for a sort of wicked idea: I think, to avoid “ugly” orthography like “mains” for [maɪns], I want to pull a page out of the English handbook and use the lowered version of long vowels (except ā) to represent their raised or diphthong equivalents, e.g. “mīns.” Also “hūs” ([haʊs] = house), fōts ([fu:ts] = foot), mēna ([mi:nə] = moon).

I’m still a little non-committal about certain sounds, though. II still have no idea whether /ʒ/, which is intended to be some sort of rhotic, should be [r], [ɾ], [ʁ], or even [ʒ]. I’m not sure I even want to make that determination – I just want to be sure that it’s differentiated from /z/ [z], which has to come from a voices /s/, and /r/ [ɾ] which comes from a “real” Protogermanic /r/.