I've been putting together some examples that illustrate some of the pitfalls in creating languages. Eventually, these will all be illustrated with examples from my own languages and language sketches. (Especially some of the older ones, when I still had some bad habits from English, like writing "ee" for an [i] sound.) Many of the phonetic symbols are unreadable, since I used the SILDoulosIPA font, but I'll eventually convert everything over to one of the ASCII-IPA encodings. Keep in mind that this is a preliminary sketch, and only a few pitfalls are illustrated so far. (And all the underlining and italics are lost, but those will be converted to HTML.)Note:The HTML version of this report was never recieved.
[T], [D] Besides English, these sounds are found in languages such as Welsh, Greek, Icelandic, Albanian, Arabic, and Swahili. These sounds are appropriate for a language that is meant to be reminiscent of Welsh (such as Sindarin), but might not be suitable for other languages, such as those designed for international communication. I use these sounds frequently for Thirrian and Elvish languages, as well as the languages of human cultures that have close ties to elves (Olaetyan, Nisklôz), but not in other human languages such as Kazat 'akkorou or the languages of the Mizarian rodent-people.
[Ó] American English "r", which I would characterize as a slightly rounded retroflex approximant, is an extremely uncommon sound. Mandarin Chinese "r" is close, but it's less rounded and more fricative, closer to [Û]. Many languages have the tap [R], the trill [r], or both. Other languages have a uvular trill or fricative. Rynnan Elvish has both a trilled r and an American English r in the word yrrrana [irÓAnA].
i-Ra-Jr'@še bhø ðø tzÿ^l khiew a ^lubb@ð qwa ieatir øbvÿ^l= jie-Jr'@=9Ae ðø n'Ejnarxieteir
There isn't enough information from this to figure out what pronunciation was originally intended. Was the "^l" sound a voiced lateral fricative, [L], or a velar lateral, [;], or maybe something entirely different? Was "j" a sound like English "y" or French "j"? The Olaetyan name of the planet, Enyárkçyte, suggests that "jn" is supposed to be pronounced [nj] (which also suggests that "jr" might be [Rj]), and that "ie" is pronounced [i]. But then this would be another language that distinguishes between [i] and [I]. So in the modernized version of Ejnarxieteir, I assume that "ie" represents [je].
i-Ra-Ryõshe bhõ dhö tsüwl khyew a wlubbëdh qwa yeatir öbvüwl ye-Ryõshe dhö n’Enyarktsyeteir
Copyright © 1997, Jack Durst,
Last updated: 21 Jun, 1997