Monday, February 21, 2011

Inlis: Phonology and Mappings

Vowels and diphthongs

I generally use Spanish vowels as the model, but in general

a as in father

e as in bet (or as in bait without the closing y sound)

i as in machine

o as in go

u as oo in moon

ai as eye

au as ou in house

ei as ey in obey

oi as in noise

Note that ei exists only to force the distinction with e, as in leta (letter) and leita (later, after). This distinction is uncommon.

The i of ai and oi is usually written y before another vowel. Technically, faya (fire) is pronounced FA-ya, but it's normal to say FAI-ya instead. Likewise au before a vowel is written aw: pawa (power).

The accent is on the first syllable.

Consonant mappings

Consonant mappings are mostly obvious; the exceptions are

Th in thin ([T]): t

Th in then ([D]): d

L or r before another consonant: omitted. (But l may be retained in advanced vocabulary.)

Final vocalic l sound (candle, ankle, etc.) -> al: kandal, ankal

Final vocalic r sound (canker, anchor, etc.) -> a: kanka, anka

Optional generic final vowel to help with otherwise final consonants: e.

In general, Inlis restricts consonant clusters. A form such as ?sprinklin should be considered extreme and worth avoiding, though it's technically allowable. Normally, the maximum should be only two consonants per cluster.

(The normal workaround for sCl- and sCr- initial clusters is to insert an a after C: sparinklin. I've not yet decided whether to write that or not; I'm tempted to consider it optional.)

Vowel mappings

Consonant mappings are fairly simple; the vowel mappings are

a TRAP (bad, cab, ham) (I've considered e here, but a works better)

a STRUT (cub, rub, hum)

a BATH (staff, clasp, dance)

a NURSE (hurt, term, work)

a START (far, sharp, farm)

a lettER (beggar, martyr, visor)

a commA (China, sofa, about)

e DRESS (step, ebb, hem)

e(i) FACE (weight, rein, steak)

i KIT (ship, rip, dim)

i FLEECE (seed, key, seize)

i happY (silly, Tony, merry)

o LOT (stop, rob, swan)

o CLOTH (cough, long, gone)

o PALM (calm, bra, father)

o THOUGHT (taut, hawk, broad)

o GOAT (soap, soul, home)

o NORTH (war, storm, for)

o FORCE (floor, coarse, ore)

u CURE (poor, tour, fury)

u FOOT (full, look, could)

u GOOSE (who, group, few)

u intO (influence, situation, bivouac)

ai PRICE (ripe, tribe, aisle)

au MOUTH (pouch, noun, crowd)

oi CHOICE (boy, void, coin)

ia NEAR (beer, pier, fierce)

ea SQUARE (care, air, wear)

Note that "long u" ([ju]) becomes a mere oo sound ([u]) except initially: duti, nu, but yusin. This is because dialects differ on the non-initial pronunciation.

I'll try to justify these mappings next time.

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