Sunday, 17 June 2012

Phonology change and spelling reform

I thought my phonology was pretty much set in stone, but I can't bring myself to keep the distinction between glottal stop onset and zero onset. It's going out! And with it goes the grapheme <‘> - which I have also realized is the wrong codepoint; I've been using is U+2018 "Left single quotationmark", when I should have been using U+02BB "Modifier letter turned comma" (or ʻokina). Very embarrassing as I consider myself one to know better about such things.

But that is the past. I won't be using either. From now on the glottal stop is unmarked as it is the realization of zero onset. The name of the language will therefore be spelled Mhmmz, but the pronounciation is the same. Luckily I haven't much vocabulary, but the few words I have will no longer distinguish glottal stop and zero onset.

The spelling reform is somewhat related to this issue. As <f, k, x> can be both onset and coda of a syllable, in words of multiple syllables I wan't to be able to show when this is the case. I will use a simple apostrophe (not ʻokina, for ease of typing) where the sound is in the coda position. For example the words mxnnz will potentially be a different word from mx'nnz, and so will mkfqql and mk'fqql.

So the rule is: When you come across a intervocalic consonant cluster as many consonants as possible/allowed are read as the onset of the second syllable. Unless an apostrophe is used, in which case this is where the syllables break.

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