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Lesson 3b
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Cirtunese Phonotactics
This public article was written by Cirton Historian, and last updated on 24 May 2020, 01:52.

10. Lesson 2d
11. Lesson 2e
12. Lesson 2f
13. Lesson 3a
14. Lesson 3b
15. Lesson 3c
16. Lesson 3d
17. Lesson 3d
18. Lesson 3e
19. Lesson x
20. Lesson x2
21. Lesson x3
This article is a work in progress! Check back later in case any changes have occurred.

Unmarked Stress

When reading Cirtunese words that are unmarked for stress, one might wonder which syllable should they emphasise.
Take the word h-c /χasa/ "name", as an example.
Is it /'χasa/ or /χa'sa/?

The short answer is:
Unmarked words can have their stress in either syllable, and the meaning would not change.

The long answer would be:
Depends if the word is altered or not, and whichever you think makes your pronunciation clearer.
I, for one, prefer to emphasise the last syllable.
When I say /χa'sa/ in casual speech, the first /a/ becomes /ɐ/.. which is alright in this case.
...however, if the word is altered, say he0-c- /χesa/ "Family name" or even hu0-c- /χɯsa/ "Nameless", it'll be troublesome if the /e/ or /ɯ/ are reduced to some other phoneme, since they're morphemes by themselves, so in those cases, I'd emphasise the first syllable: /'χesa/ and /'χɯsa/.

Suffixes and Word-Final /ɐ̆/

You probably have noticed the /ɐ̆/ at the end of many Cirtunese words:
mr- is read as "ɐɾɐ̆"; Like in hjkemr. /χakɛɐɾɐ̆/ "To write".
mc- is read as "ɐsɐ̆"; Like in nmc. /naːsɐ̆/ "Alive".
mt- is read as "ɐtɐ̆"; Like in npmt. /pʰaːtɐ̆/ "In the water".
and so on.

Well, there is a reason for that...
First of all, the suffixes will never be stressed syllables.
When pronouncing that final syllable, the idea is that the normal speaker will:
often pronounce it as [consonant] + /ɐ/ or /ɐ̆/,
rarely pronounce it as just the [consonant], and
never omit the [consonant].
So, it's a way to make the pronunciation of those word-final consonants clearer, and also prevent their disappearance.
It's analogous to how in languages like Brazilian Portuguese or Japanese, instead of allowing words like "internet", they are changed to /ĩteχnɛtʃi/ (Carioca accent) and /in̩taːnɛtːo/ respectively, preventing the disappearance (as in, an unreleased t̚, for example) of the final /t/.

Word-initial Vowels

In a few Cirtunese words, vowels may appear unprecedented. In those cases, for the sake of clarity, that vowel is pronounced with a /ʔ/ before it, and in high or mid-high tone.
It's analogous to instead of saying the phrase "For the Earth" like /foː ðiː ʌːð/, it would be /foː ðiː ʔʌːð/ (British English), putting some emphasis on the word "Earth".

In Cirtunese, that happens in prefixes like
bH- /ʔɛχtɐ̆/; as in bHdye. /ʔɛχtɐ̆ jɛ/ "For you".
bc- /ʔasɐ̆/ ; as in bcnmr. /ʔɐsɐ̆naːɾɐ̆/ "The act of living".
br- /ʔɐɾɐ̆/. as in brkmr. /ʔɐɾɐ̆kaːɾɐ̆/ "Create it".
and so on.

Vowel Lengthening

The idea is quite simple: When the final vowel of a Conceptual Letter matches that of a suffix, that vowel is lengthened.
For example:
l- /la/ + mr- /ɐɾɐ̆/ = lmr. /laːɾɐ̆/. "To count'.
The examples above also illustrate this feature.

If the vowels are different, however, then no lengthening takes place:
l- /la/ + memr- /ɛ̆ɾɐ̆/ = lmemr. /'laɛ̆ɾɐ̆/. "To be counted'.

Perhaps I should do some recordings to show clearly how these work..
But for now, that'll be all.
dyemn-f gcq hea2mr-A
Thank you for reading!


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