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Phonology of Tnaaq
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Consonants, vowels, allophones and processes.
This public article was written by xroooox, and last updated on 2 Aug 2019, 15:02.

[comments] Menu 1. BACKGROUND 2. Consonants 3. Vowels 4. The syllable 5. Allophonic rules
This article is a work in progress! Check back later in case any changes have occurred.

There are several ways to pronounce Tnaaq, being it a second language for the majority of tnaaqians, and mainly used in the cities, the goverment, science and culture. Local languages, most of them derived from Tnaaq itself, are spoken at home such as  Isian,  Ralshentu and  Haughmountese. The different ways to pronounce Tnaaq roughly correspond to the areas of these languages, and are influenced by their own phonologies. There is also a classic pronounciation used in very formal contexts and now rarely used. The allophones presented here are the ones used in Rasaata city.


alveolarvelarlab. Velarglottal


NOTE: ʔ was characteristic of male speech a century ago, contrasting with h. In the current dialect this distinction is rarely heard or written, merging it with h and, if the distinction is made, it denotes regal speech.



[top]The syllable

The biggest syllable is CCCV{V,C}CC.
Onsets can be formed in this way:
    plosive+sonorant: tr, kr, qr, xr, tn, kn, qn, xn

    fricative+plosive: st, sk, sq, sx, ht, hk, hq (hx gets reduced to x)

    fricative+plosive+sonorant: (the ones above with s or h before)

The allowed complex codas are allowed:
    sonorant+obstruent: ns, nh, nt, nk, nq, nx, rs, rh, rt, rq, rk, rx.

    fricative+plosive:st, sk, sq, sx, ht, hq, hk (hx is reduced to h)

    sonorant+fricative+plosive:nst, nsk, nsq, nsx, nht, nhq, nhk, rst, rsk, rsq, rsx, rht, rhq, rhk

The elements between {} (vowels and sonorants) can't coocur in that position because the syllable can't have more than two moras. Secuences like ain, aur aren't allowed and the second vowel is lost. Obstruents are not moraic.
There can be no more than two vowels in a word. The only allowed vowel secuences are ai, au and homorganic vowels. Other vowel sequences are treated as follows:
    iu, iy, yi=ii

    ui, uy, yu=uu


    ya=a, aa

[top]Allophonic rules

/ɨ/ insertion
/ɨ/ is added to break consonant clusters in onset.
The consonants /k/, /s/, /n/ and /h/ turn to [t͡ʃ], [ʃ], [ɲ] and [ç] when they're preceded by /i/.
All plosives ans fricatives are voiced when between sonorants.
/t/ turns to [t͡s] whan preceded by a high vowel /i/, /ɨ/, /u/.
/n/, /h/ assimiliates to a preceding /u/, /kʷ/ to become [m], [ʍ].
/kʷ/ is [p] in codas and before a syllabic consonant.
Nasal assimilation
A nasal in coda assimilate to a following consonant's point of articulation.
The secuences of /h/+plosive become fricatives:
And, due to palatalization:
/iht/→[is], /ihk/→[iʃ]
The sonorants become voiceless.
The secuences /ai/ and /au/ become [ɛː], [ɔː] when stressed, [e], [o] unstressed.
Vowel elision
An /ɨ/ following another tautosyllabic vowel is elided, the preceding vowel becomes long. /ɨɨ/→[ɨː]
A high vowel following another tautosyllabic high vowel is elided, the preceding vowel becomes long.
Unstressed vowels reduction
Unstressed /i/, /u/ get centered to [ɪ], [ʊ]; both /a/ and /ɨ/ to [ə].
Unstressed long vowels become short.
/r/ allophones
/r/ becomes [ɹ] in coda and [ɾ] when it's the onset of a weak syllable in a foot.

Here are all the allophones and the coontext where they appear
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