Conlanging 2021-06-04

By Max Woerner Chase

My Lexurgy definitions are now syntactically valid, though I'm not sure if they all do what I want. I'm going to drop the current version at the end of the post, and try to wrap things up quickly. My plan right now is to take some time to think about how to handle affixation. One possibility that occurs to me is to do all of the pre-processing ahead-of-time, so there's a metadata-annotated lexicon that gets converted into a wordlist that consists of phrases that correspond to single words in the modern language. My gut reaction to that idea is that it's limited in terms of interpolation and extrapolation. Deriving intermediate or future lexicons requires generating an entirely new wordlist, because the wordlist is only valid for a single chronolect.

As such, I want to try my initial idea, but not on this conlang. If this concept works on anything, it should work on the Tpaalha sample in the Lexurgy app.

One thing that occurs to me about having rules for affixation, is that I'd want to have tests to establish that affixation doesn't happen with words that I'm not expecting it to. That'll be a neat trick, probably.

Anyway, here's my current draft. It has problems, some of which I'm even aware of!


# Length distinctions apply to both vowels and consonants
Feature +long
# These are the major distinctions that can apply to consonants
Feature +aspirated, +prenasalized, voiced
Feature place(labial, dental, palatal, velar, glottal)
Feature manner(stop, fricative, nasal, approximant)
Feature +sibilant
Feature +lateral
# Only for Sj-sound
Feature +labialized
# These features distinguish vowels
Feature openness(open, openmid, closemid, nearclose, close)
Feature front, raised, retracted
Feature round
# Okay, let's work on stress now...
Feature stress(primary, secondary)
Feature +peak
Diacritic ˈ (floating) (before) [primary]
Diacritic ˌ (floating) (before) [secondary]
Diacritic ⁿ (before) [+prenasalized]
Diacritic ʰ [+aspirated]
Diacritic ̂ [+peak]
Diacritic ː [+long]
Symbol i [close +front -raised -retracted -round]
Symbol y [close +front -raised -retracted +round]
Symbol u [close -front +raised -retracted +round]
Symbol ɪ [nearclose +front -raised -retracted -round]
Symbol ʏ [nearclose +front -raised -retracted +round]
Symbol ʊ [nearclose -front +raised -retracted +round]
Symbol e [closemid +front -raised -retracted -round]
Symbol ø [closemid +front -raised -retracted +round]
Symbol o [closemid -front +raised -retracted +round]
Symbol ɛ [openmid +front -raised -retracted -round]
Symbol œ [openmid +front -raised -retracted +round]
Symbol ɔ [openmid -front -raised +retracted +round]
Symbol a [open +front -raised -retracted -round]
Symbol ɑ [open -front -raised +retracted +round]
# Okay, let's work on the consonants
Symbol m [labial nasal +voiced]
Symbol n [dental nasal +voiced]
Symbol ɲ [palatal nasal +voiced]
Symbol ŋ [velar nasal +voiced]
Symbol p [labial stop -voiced]
Symbol b [labial stop +voiced]
Symbol t [dental stop -voiced]
Symbol d [dental stop +voiced]
Symbol c [palatal stop -voiced]
# This *probably* won't appear in the modern version.
Symbol ɟ [palatal stop +voiced]
Symbol k [velar stop -voiced]
Symbol ɡ [velar stop +voiced]
# This *may* appear so some intermediate thing
Symbol ʔ [glottal stop -voiced] # I *guess* it's -voiced? Either that, or absent.
Symbol s [dental fricative +sibilant -voiced]
Symbol z [dental fricative +sibilant +voiced]
# This should appear in the final result
Symbol ɕ [palatal fricative +sibilant -voiced]
# This should not
Symbol ʑ [palatal fricative +sibilant +voiced]
Symbol f [labial fricative -voiced]
Symbol v [labial fricative +voiced]
Symbol θ [dental fricative -voiced]
Symbol ð [dental fricative +voiced]
# This shouldn't appear in the final result
Symbol ç [palatal fricative -voiced]
# This should
Symbol ʝ [palatal fricative +voiced]
# This should always be labialized in the final result; that's *a* way to handle Sj
Symbol x [velar fricative -voiced]
Symbol ɣ [velar fricative +voiced]
# I don't really want to have the voiced version in here
Symbol h [glottal fricative -voiced]
Symbol r [dental approximant +voiced]
Symbol l [+lateral dental approximant +voiced]
Symbol ʎ [+lateral palatal approximant +voiced]

Good night.