Conlanging 2021-06-03

By Max Woerner Chase

Okay, I've maybe got every consonant I'll need, and a few I'm not sure about, entered into my sound change file, with just a bit of IPA fudging.

It wasn't hard to add support for stress on top of that, and now my big issue is, if I want to have "pitch accent" show up in the modern version of the language, then how do I represent that? Swedish pitch accent appears to be a distinction that reliably stays with words (mostly) regardless of dialect, but the details of the realization vary by dialect. The thing that's confusing me in terms of representation, is that the pitch contours for the accents pass through more tones than there are syllables in the words. So, I can't just cram diacritics onto the syllables. Can I? I think what would make the most sense to me would be to have a "peak" diacritic that attaches to the syllable. That would basically leave the details of the timing to "how many peaks are there?"

(I should probably also add secondary stress, but I'm going to hope that's not too hard.)

My plan now is to sleep on this, make sure it all makes sense, then add in "peak" diacritics and secondary stress markers. From there, the next step is to validate my feature definitions to make sure I didn't use characters that I shouldn't have. After that, I'll look into specifying the kinds of things I want to validate in the wordlists, and work on a validator for the end state. At that point, I'll have to make the call on whether to make this some kind of multi-stage thing. Unless I've missed something, I don't see a way to add and drop lines purely within Lexurgy, so I think I need to rope in some other form of text processing. That's something to look into more carefully later, now that I've probably got all but two symbols defined.

The other "fun" thing is going to be discovering what should have been binary, what should have been univalent, and which contentious and academically-recent debates I managed to accidentally pick a side on, and how that's going to mess with my sound change rules.

Thinking ahead... I've got a bunch of simple changes planned, but what I should probably be thinking about more is stress-dependence.

Anyway, right now I should be thinking about bed.

Good night.