20130705

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:]

Diphthongs

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/.