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Deinau phonology
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Deinau's inventory, allophones and processes
This public article was written by [Deactivated User], and last updated on 3 Jul 2018, 17:08.

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11. Derivation ? ?
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Menu 1. Consonants 2. Vowels 3. Vowel harmony 4. Consonant harmony and assimilation 5. Syllable 6. Stress 7. Pitch accent and intonation 8. Phonological processes
[edit] [top]Consonants
Deinau has consonants in four points of articulation: labial, alveolar, retroflex and velar. There is a contrast between aspirated and unaspirated plosives and fricatives. The only liquid is /l/.

Aspirated stopʈʰ
Unaspirated stopptʈk
Aspirated fricativeʂʰ
Unaspirated fricativesʂ

Consonant allophones
Aspirated consonants are preaspirated between vowels, except if the syllable is stressed. Plain consonants are voiced in the same environment.
/l/ ͏is voiceless when following an aspirated consonant. It follows coronal harmony (see below). The pronunciation in consonant groups (C_V) varies a lot. In metropolitan ·Mogu it's pronounced as a rhotic after a coronal, [ɾ] and [ɽ], and [l] with other consonants. In Madaana dialect it is a lateral only when following a coronal, and [ɫ]~[w] after labials and velars. If the consonant before is a sibilant a plosive is inserted [sᵗl], [ʂᵗɭ].
Velar consonants are influenced by vowel harmony. They are pronounced as palatal in front vowel words.

[edit] [top]Vowels

Vowel system is simetric in backness. There are 5 front vowels and 5 back, and 3 degrees of aperture.


There are 6 falling diphthongs. However, this is a case of vowel breaking, and a more precise analysis can be done in terms of 10 shot vowels and 6 long ones. Since they participate as a whole in vowel harmony the high portion of the phonemes can't be thinked of as a consonant /j/ or /w/ and this would complicate the syllable pattern.

highiː [e͡ɪ]yː [ø͡ʏ]ɯː [ɤ͡ɯ]uː [o͡ʊ]
lowæː [æ͡ɪ]ɑː [ɑ͡ʊ]

[edit] [top]Vowel harmony

Roots have back vowel harmony. Vowels have to be all front or back. Compounds are an exception.
Suffixes have to agree with backness too. Besides, they trigger some changes in the root's previous vowel.
The epenthetic vowel has to agree with the preceding vowel in backness and roundness. This vowel is always high.

[edit] [top]Consonant harmony and assimilation

There can just be one kind of coronal consonant within a word. The first coronal (dental or retroflex) sets the coronal value of the following.
Plosives and fricatives assimilate in aspiration to a following consonant. Plain plosives become nasal before a nasal, and aspirated plosives change positions with it.

[edit] [top]Syllable

The biggest syllable is sClVC, where C is any consonant. Syllables with sC(l) onsets are mostly found in the beginning of a word, and tend to be simplified when they are not initial.
There is a restriction of sonority on the kinds of consonant groups that can occur in syllable boundaries. The first consonant must have more sonority than the onset of the following syllable. This causes assimilation and metathesis.


[edit] [top]Stress

Stress goes to the syllable that receives the tone. This means that stress only falls on the first two syllables of the word, and that it may only fall on the second if the first one is not heavy, so the second mora on the word is on the second syllable and thus receives a tone. For example:

·baz ·kiikamu [pǽɪ̯́ʂ ˈcʰìíʰcǽmý] s/he killed him/her
·baz ·kíimku [pǽɪ̯́ʂ ˈcʰíímɟý] s/he killed you
·uú ánmu [ø̀ʏ́ ˈɑ́nmú] s/he saw me/you
·uú anamu [ø̀ʏ́ ɑ̀ˈnɑ́mú] s/he saw her/him

Third person absolutive is marked in transitive verbs with a high tone on the first mora, and non-third in the first mora. Since the vowel of the verb ·kiik is long that syllable is heavy and stress stays there. The first syllable of the verb an- is light (one mora), so the stress goes to the second syllable if the tone is on the second mora.

[edit] [top]Pitch accent and intonation

Pitch accent can be high or falling. This accent is mostly grammatical, and nouns and verbs have different tonal paradigms according to animacy and transitivity.
Tone spreads rightwards, even to following unstressed words within a phrase. Only the low part of a falling tone spreads.
A falling contour is allowed only on long vowels (aka diphthongs). A high tone following a falling tone is downstepped and the falling tone becomes high.
There is a phrase boundary tone L. When focused, a phrase has a LH tone.

[edit] [top]Phonological processes

Nasal assimilation
A plain stop before a nasal becomes a nasal, keeping its place of articulation.

Nasal metathesis
Nasals switch places with a preceding aspirated stop. Aspirated+nasal sequences from vowel elision do not undergo metathesis.

Vowel elision
Short vowels in open syllables following the word stress are elided, unless this results in a CCC sequence where the last consonant is not /l/.

Sibilants become plain stops when they follow a sonorant. This works on different levels for each king of sonorant: it happens with /l/ only at stem formation level, while nasals trigger it on words. None of them occur after vowel elision.
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