Attian/Phonology

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General information

Main article: The Attian language.
See also: Attian morphology and IPA for Attian.

This appendix describes the phonology and corresponding processes of the Attian language. The Attian language is an artificial a priori language, and has thus the freedom of a phonology created from scratch, quite irregular. The consonantal inventory is remarkable for being quite "alveolo-velar", lacking any labialconsonants.

Consonants

This is the complete consonant phoneme inventory of the Attian language. These are the sounds with minimal pairing effect on lexemes. The language is notable for one of the conventional plosive series, or rather a phonemic distinction of the complete bilabial place of articulation.

Please note that the bolded letters are orthographic representations.

  • Consonant gemination is phonemic, and applies to all consonants but /h/, but never occurs initially. Gemination is marked by doubling the grapheme.
Consonant phonemes in Attian
Consonant phonemes
Dental Alveolar Palatal Velar Glottal
Nasals n [n] m [ŋ]
Plosive voiceless t [t] c [k]
voiced d [d] g [ɡ]
Fricative th [θ-ð] z [s-z] sh [ç] j [x-ɣ] h [h-ɦ]
Approximant y [j] v [w]
Trill r [r̥]

Processes

The Attian consonants undergo a number of phonological processes, all of which are completely phonemic.

Labiovelar coarticulation

The labiovelar coarticulation, or simply labiovelarisation, is a process which only applies to the velar stops, that is /ŋ/, /k/ and /ɡ/. The velar stops are coarticulated with their labial analogue when followed by a rounded vowel. This causes the phonemes /ŋ͡m/, /k͡p/ and /ɡ͡b/.

Other situations producing the labiovelars, and especially the nasal one, are collisions of /ŋ/ and /n/, no matter the order. In addition, the combinations /n/ or /ŋ/ plus /w/ gives the labiovelar nasal /ŋ͡m/.

uggā amnva gva ugga egegi
/uɡˈɡø/ → /uˈɡ͡bø/ /aŋˈna/ → /aˈŋ͡ma/ /ɡwa uɡˈɡø ɛɡˈɛɡi/ → [ɡwa uˈɡ͡bø ɛɡˈɛɡi]
«fish» «you; thou» «I fish fish»

Fricativisation

The 4 plosives, /t/, /d/, /k/ and /ɡ/, are fricativisised into /θ/, /ð/, /x/ and /ɣ/ intervocalic positions. The fricativisation also occurs should any of the plosives precede other hetero-organic plosives.

Fricativisation only applies should the plosives occur as a coda, or onset in an unstressed syllable. This implies that any fricativisation due to external sandhi, i.e. if the preceeding word ends with a vowel, is impossible.

adan egta yecai
/ˈadan/ → /ˈaðan/ /ɛɡta/ → /ɛɣta/ /ˈjɛkai̩/ → /ˈjɛxai̩/
«meal» «door» «small eye; peeking Tom»

Other

The glottal fricative /h/, has an irregular effect if preceding or following hetero-organic plosives. The hetero-organic plosive is geminated, or doubled, and the glottal fricative is deleted from speech.

The only rhotic consonant in the Attian inventory is the alveolar approximant /r̥/, which is somewhat irregular in its pronounciation. The corresponding intervocalic allophone is pronounced voicedly.

Allophony

Vowels

This is the vocalic phoneme inventory of the Attian language. All of the following phonemes are phonemic, however, due to severe allophony in most dialects, the inventory is somewhat larger. The Attian language has 10 basic vowels, whereof four rounded and six unrounded.

  Front Near- front Central Near- back Back
Close
Blank vowel trapezoid.svg
i
u


ø
ɤ · o


ɛ · œ


a
  Near-close
Close-mid
Mid
Open-mid
Near-open
Open
Where symbols appear in pairs, the one to the right represents a rounded vowel.
Vowel phonemes in Attian
Front Central Back
Close i /i/ u /u/
Near-close o /ɤ/ · ō /oː/
Close-Mid ā /ø/
Mid
Open-Mid e /ɛ/ · ē /œ/
Near-Open
Open a /a/

Processes

Allophony

The Attian language's vowels exposed to a great deal of allophony, in different phonological circumstances and when subjects to stress. Vowels may change their quality when:

  • Preceding palato-velar or glottal consonants. This retracts articulation of front vowels, and leaves back vowels unaffected.
  • Preceding rhotic consonants, i.e. /r̥/. Vowels preceding the rhotic become supradentalised if back, and unaffected if front vowels.
  • In a stressed syllable. The language has a moraic stress system, thus distinguishing the weight of syllables - the heavier the syllable, the greater chance of being stressed. Interestingly, the heaviest syllable is reinforced when stressed, which changes the vowel's quality or diphthongising it.

It is important to note that none of the diphthongs are affected by the allophony, and nor are any monosyllables.