Allophones and other fun shit
0▲ 0 ▼ 0
because i hate myself
This public article was written by khaleesi, and last updated on 10 Mar 2015, 00:28.
[top]The infamous R
In High Elevjeti, the letter represented as r in Romanization (and as the letter known as re in Elevjeti script) has two possible phones: [ɾ] and [ɻ]. The incidence of these two phones is, at best, random. Some have tried, though, to propose that there is a pattern to it. These are their stories. DUN DUN
The Voiced and the Voiceless
This theory surmises that the incidence of [ɾ] is, when <r> is preceded by or followed by another consonant, limited to when said consonant is voiced. This can be seen in the words vladrai [vlɑɖɾaɪ], ärvys [æɾvʏʂ], and hyrg [xʏɾg]. The reverse, it claims, is also true: when the <r> is before or after a voiceless consonant, it is pronounced [ɻ]. Examples of this include srita [ʂɻiʈɑ], durhas [ɖuɻxɑʂ], and skart [ʂkɑɻʈ].
The first issue with this theory is that it does not explain the pattern for when <r> is surrounded only by vowels. It also ignores many examples of when [ɾ] follows or precedes an unvoiced consonant and [ɻ] follows or precedes a voiced consonant...
A supplement to the previous theory, which effectively ignored when <r> occurred between vowels, suggested that vowel frontness was responsible for determining which allophone would occur. The theory supposes that the more front a vowel is, the more likely it is that r will be [ɻ], and also the reverse: the more back a vowel is, the more likely it is for <r> to be [ɾ]. Arguably this theory is more credible than the voiced/voiceless theory, and has many more examples, including älkär [ælkæɻ], rótäś [ɾo:ʈæʒ], and siresh [ʂiɻɛʃ]. However illogical it may be, as in a front vowel the tongue is closer to the alveolar ridge, and vice versa, the pattern is fairly widespread in High Elevjeti, making the vowel frontness theory a much more credible theory than the voiced/voiceless. Still, exceptions are rampant, and it is hard to call this a rule.
There is one more allophone for r, [ɹ], but it only occurs as a syllabic (see below).
[top]The Terrible L
The default phoneme for l is simply [l], but it can also be pronounced [ɬ] in certain positions. Unlike the r, there are rules to this, and they are quite simple. For the first rule, l may be pronounced as either [l] or [ɬ] immediately before or after a voiceless consonant, but most often it is [ɬ]. Before or after a voiced consonant, it may only be [l].
Also, [ɬ] may not be an initial consonant, except in loanwords from Tlarak, nor may it occur as a geminate.
[top]Fun with labials
High Elevjeti has four bilabial consonants: [m], [p], [b], and [β]. While [m] and [β] can occur almost anywhere in a word, [p] and [b] cannot be word-final (with a few exceptions). This has caused a morph in words that are borrowed from other languages where the original ends in [p] or [b]. In some words [p] becomes [f] and [b] becomes [v] or [β].
1Elevjeti, not to be confused with High Elevjeti. Elevjeti is the parent language of HE, and also its sister Low Elevjeti.
Now, about those exceptions. Any word in the High Elevjeti lexicon that ends in [b] or [p] is not a full word, but the infinitive of a verb, to which a suffix must be added to conjugate it. If the infinitive form needs to be used, while the "p" or "b" letter in the ELV alphabet will be used, it will be realized as, respectively, [f] or [v].
A syllabic consonant may occur in High Elevjeti whenever a consonant is preceded by a consonant and not followed by a vowel (usually word-final), or less commonly, when there are three consonants in a row. Most often this occurs with r, realized as [ɹ̩], but it may occur with any consonant except for [q].
A few examples:
Although any consonant may be syllabic in the circumstances listed above, not every consonant in them is syllabic. For example, in the word ägs [ægʂ], the [ʂ] is not syllabic, but blended with [g].