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So, for various reasons we have now changed the format of the show.  Now we will be doing only one topic per show, alternating weeks between discussion topics and featured conlangs.  We hope that this addresses the issues some people have had with show length while still allowing us to have thick, meaty discussions.  As such, this week’s show is all about phonotactics and how the way you allow sounds to combine into words is often more important to the overall sound of your conlang than your phoneme inventory is.

Top of Show Greeting: Khangaþyagon

Links and Resources:

No feedback today, sorry.

14 Responses to “Conlangery #60: Syllable and Word Shapes”

  1. Anthony Docimo

    I had always thought that Mandarin’s _èr_ (2) was an exception in terms of syllable structure – ending with “r”….as opposed to the normal CV(nasal)
    …I think what helped me keep that opinion was the fact that it also starts with a vowel, not a consonant.

    • admin

      Well, there are quite a few characters with the pinyin < er >. But whether you see coda /r/ in any other syllable depends on dialect. Dialects with erhuayin (儿话音) have coda /r/ in lots of places, following rules that I don’t quite understand.

      • Anthony Docimo

        I see. thank you.

        ps: just got to the K-T joke….Cretaceous-Tertiary Boundary. (I enjoyed the joke very mind, mind)

  2. Pete Bleackley

    Gloss of this week’s greeting.

    yugela ya yer yagonapontþaðam, deodadwaremontam ustroshtyagonkur beb holkur u apir yir der

    yugel-a ya ye-r yag-on-ap-ont-það-am, deodad-warem-ont-am ustr-osht-yag-on-ku-r beb hol-ku-r u ap-i-r yi-r de-r

    welcome-1p 1p 2p-pl speak-PrP-make-PrP-deed-DESTINATION, amulet-“address a crowd”-PrP-DESTINATION build-PP-speak-PrP-about-pl and person-about-pl “such that” make-3p-pl 3p-pl OBVIATE-pl

  3. JS Bangs

    People were complaining about the length? Really? I always found the episode length to be just fine… though of course I’m used to listening to podcasts that regularly go over 2 hrs.

    • MBR

      I second this. I think the big concern was something about burning episodes to CDs, but in this day and age, I don’t know anybody who does this. I just download them to my phone.

      • Anthony Docimo

        And that is the reason that matters.

        (the classic response is, in this case, also the right and truest one)

  4. Roman Rausch

    – You have the Quenya phonotactics mixed up: It doesn’t allow voiced stops without a resonant coda (which is taken directly out of Finnish), but it does allow voiceless onsets after a voiced coda as well. So mb, nd, ŋg are fine, mp, nt, ŋk are fine, ld, rd and lp, rp, lt, rt, lk, rk are fine too; lb is a rare oddball and is often changed to lw; *rb, *lg. *rg only appear in dialects; plain b, d, g are prohibited.
    Of those, b underwent betacism to v. D underwent rhotacism medially and became l or n initially. And g just got lenited away or became y.

    – The mentioned painting is this one, right? 🙂

  5. Anthony Docimo

    >Just because you typed it, doesn’t mean you’ll be able to speak it.
    Very true…and the reason why, sadly, I don’t have a conlanging playlist: because I need to be able to hear it in my mind’s ear (next to my mind’s eye), and I can’t hear my mind’s ear over music.

  6. smrk

    I like listening to the Cocteau Twins while conlanging. The singer mostly sings in nonsense language.
    Anyway, I never minded long podcasts — I actually got irritated with George when he tried to hurry things along. I get that it’s easier for him to edit shorter podcasts though, and I applaud all of you for being so consistent with the podcast. This is probably the most punctual podcast I’ve ever subscribed to, so yeah, congratulations. I hope you guys are able to have more indepth discussions of conlangs/natlangs now that you’re saving it for its own episode. (I really enjoy the natlang episodes by the way.)

  7. Pete Bleackley

    Note for people recording greetings. Mobile phones record audio in a strange format, btut you can get a free app to convert to mp3. Ffmpeg seems to be the best one.

  8. Rhamos Vhailejh

    When I’m working on my conlang(s), I’ll either be listening to traditional Scandinavian or Mongolian music. I’ll try to find instrumental stuff for the Scandinavian music, because the lyrics are too distracting. The Mongolian music is far less distracting because I suck at mimicking Mongolian, so I don’t feel anywhere near as compelled to do so, so I don’t mind lyrics for that. Most of it is throat singing anyway.
    However, sometimes I’ll listen to music that’s heavy in lyrics in the language which inspired the conlang I’m working on at the moment. For example, my primary conlang was inspired by Finnish, so I’ll listen to Finnish music with lyrics while I’m working on it. I remember George said a few episodes back that listening to music with lyrics while conlanging can result in finding oneself asking “why does my conlang sound like a Turkish pop band?” Well, if you *want* your conlang to sound like Turkish, that might be a good idea. Just yesterday, I was listening to Korpiklaani, and I heard “tuli” in the lyrics somewhere while I was trying to think of a word for “process”. I don’t even know if that was the whole word, or if that was just part of some bigger word, as I have no idea what it meant, but I liked it, and I took it. I often have a very difficult time coming up with new words and will think on it for very long periods of time. Doing this makes it a lot faster and easier. I’ll just close my eyes and listen to the lyrics until I hear something that sounds like it could fit.


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