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Ideas for Phonology. Three vowel system. - Toki Pona Forums

Ideas for Phonology. Three vowel system.

Tinkerers Anonymous: Some people can't help making changes to "fix" Toki Pona. This is a playground for their ideas.
Tokiponidistoj: Iuj homoj nepre volas fari ŝanĝojn por "ripari" Tokiponon. Jen ludejo por iliaj ideoj.
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janU
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Ideas for Phonology. Three vowel system.

Postby janU » Sat Mar 03, 2018 5:09 pm

Here is a bit of my current ideas for toki pona pronunciation.
/p/ = [p] ≠ [pʰ]
/t/ = [t] ≠ [tʰ]
/k/ = [k] ≠ [kʰ]
/j/ = [j]
/n/ = [n], [ŋ]
/s/ = [s], [ʃ]
/w/ = [v], [w]?
/l/ = [l], [ɬ]?
/m/ = [m]
/u/, /o/ = [ʊ], [u], [o]
/i/ = [i], [ɪ], [e]
/e/, /a/ = [a], [æ], [ɛ]
Toki pona could have something like a three vowel system if there is no distinction between /e/, /a/ and /u/, /o/. I don't think it would cause much confusion, and it could make pronunciation easier and faster. In this case ali should be used instead of ale to avoid confusion with ala.

janKipo
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Re: Ideas for Phonology. Three vowel system.

Postby janKipo » Sat Mar 03, 2018 6:16 pm

The current situation is basically not to pay too much attention to “minor” phonetic differences and just accept taht everyone speaks with an accent. The official line is somewhat more rigid and unrealistic (all stops are non-plosive, dentals are dental not alveolar or retroflex, /s/ is just [s] and so on. But the practical guide to speaking and, more importantly, hearing tp acknowledges all the phonological push and pull that spken language is subject to, so /i/ pulls /s/ (and /t/ and /k/) one way, /u/ pulls /l/ another. and /w/ screws around with /e/, to name just a few of the most obvious. /w/ stays [w], not [v] except in certain L1 infused dialects.
The vowel system is much worse, of course. There are a few words that prevent tp from going to a three-vowel system, but in the actual speaking there are a lot of cloudy cases: /a/ slides close to /e/ sometimes and to /o/ at others. /i/ and /u/ fluctuate in the higher reaches but don’t seem to cross the o and e boundaries.
So, an /i a u/ system is a real possibility with a few changes, distinct front and back in at the top and a murky swath at the bottom. The murky swaths front and back with a clearly central is less likely, somehow (well, no change is very likely). In any case, it is good to keep an eye on this, since we are starting to ge more spoken tp and so data about what actually happens.

janU
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Re: Ideas for Phonology. Three vowel system.

Postby janU » Sat Mar 10, 2018 10:41 pm

Much of this was inspired by Inuktitut, but it sounds very different without uvulars. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SAwyQJ33jyo


I made some improvements:

/p/ = [p] ≠ [pʰ]
/t/ = [t] ≠ [tʰ]
/k/ = [k] ≠ [kʰ]
/j/ = [j]
/n/ = [n], [ŋ]
/s/ = [s], [s̠]
/w/ = [v]
/l/ = [l̥]
/m/ = [m]
/u/, /o/ = [ʊ], [u], [o]
/i/ = [i], [ɪ], [e]
/e/, /a/ = [a], [æ], [ɛ]

When two syllables with i follow each other, the initial one is often [ɪ]. For example; lili, ni li, kili.
When n comes at the end of a syllable it would be pronounced as [ŋ] (linja, jan, anpa), and [n] in all other cases (sina, ni, ona). I believe that this would be slightly easier to pronounce than just [n] in all situations. (n-n = n) (n-vowel = ŋ)


Stress:
The syllable before punctuation.
e, li, la, pi
mi and the na of sina when it is used like "you are" and "I am".

Diphthongs and vowel length:
When a word beginning with a vowel follows a non stressed word ending in a vowel, the two would usually form a diphthong or a long vowel:
a-i, e-i = [ai]
a-u, e-u, a-o, e-o = [au]
u-i, o-i = [ui]
o-e, o-a, u-a, u-e = [ua]
i-a, i-e = [ia]
i-u, i-o = [iu]
o-o, u-u, o-u, u-o = [ʊː], [uː], [oː]
a-a, e-e, e-a, a-e = [aː], [æː], [ɛː]
i-i = [iː], [ɪː], [eː]
If the word following an e or a is "e", it would become [ai], instead of [aː], [æː], or [ɛː].

This was just a concept I came up with, it's probably a little bit too much of a stretch to be added to toki pona. Another way to do it would be to just keep consonants and everything else the way it is, but use the three vowel system for pronunciation, which I think really would improve it.

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Teilnehmer
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Re: Ideas for Phonology. Three vowel system.

Postby Teilnehmer » Tue Apr 17, 2018 12:23 am


janKipo
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Re: Ideas for Phonology. Three vowel system.

Postby janKipo » Tue Apr 17, 2018 9:12 am

Yes, ‘ken/kin’ has always stood in the way of three-vowel solutions -- pretty much all of them, since most seem to put /e/ and /i/ in the same group. The high-mid-low pattern doesn’t collapse /e/ and /i/, but it runs into ‘ken/kon’, as does the i-u-other pattern.
‘kin’ is mainly an artifical word so (even if we don’t collapse it into ‘a’) we can easily substitute another word for it. ‘ken’ appeals to Anglophones, of course, but, say, ‘kan’ would work as well.

janU
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Re: Ideas for Phonology. Three vowel system.

Postby janU » Sun Apr 22, 2018 11:30 am

Vowel frequency for when i and e are collapsed.

a - 306
i - 399
u - 119

Vowel frequency for when a and e are collapsed.

a - 402
i - 303
u - 119

High (i-u), mid (e-o), low(a).

High - 434
Mid - 184
Low - 306

A problem with the high-mid-low type of alignment is that it might be difficult to learn at first, since vertical vowel systems are so different from how most languages work.

Toki pona as it is spelled (from a page of text).

a - 306
e - 96
i - 303
o - 88
u - 131

Frequency in Inuktitut:

a - 642
i - 753
u - 466

Frequency in Wichita:

High - 89
Mid - 21
Low - 68

So it looks like collapsing e and i would probably be the best way to do it.
Last edited by janU on Sat Apr 28, 2018 4:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

janKipo
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Re: Ideas for Phonology. Three vowel system.

Postby janKipo » Sun Apr 22, 2018 2:27 pm

Thanks.
I don’t know what conclusions to draw from this -- except that vowels just aren’t going to be venly distributed however we do it (though I’m not sure why that should matter at all).

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janTepanNetaPelin
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Re: Ideas for Phonology. Three vowel system.

Postby janTepanNetaPelin » Mon Apr 23, 2018 2:23 pm

https://github.com/stefichjo/toki-pona (mi sitelen e lipu ni pi toki pona)
mi jan Tepan. mi pu. mi weka e jan nasa Kipo e jan nasa Lope.


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