Sound changes from Mavakhalan
The order of the changes in the following description is a
possible one, in that it yields the correct forms.
However, the chronology is not uniquely determined,
and I have been guided by thematic cohesion in this presentation,
rather than attempting to have it precisely match chronology.
I have not been following this guide in bringing words up
from Mavakhalan, but added it as an afterthought. Accordingly
I might have missed out some minor changes.
(Akanists: please don't take this as a licence to bring through
from Mavakhalan new AhH words that are not mentioned in the lexicon.
Ask me first.)
Onset clusters that violate sonority get a prothetic vowel.
Before /m n ɲ/ this is
respectively /u ɨ i/;
before other consonants it's /ə/.
Nasals assimilate in place to following obstruents.
/ʝ β/ >
/j ʋ/. (At least,
these segments come to be perceived as approximants;
they may still sometimes be kinda fricatively in realisation.)
/x/ > /h/.
Final subphonemic changes and cluster resolutions as
described in the main grammar.
- Complex codas, already marginal and exceedingly rare in Mavakhalan,
are split up by an epenthetic /o/
between the two consonants.
- /h x/ merge (or had already merged)
to a phoneme I'll denote /h/,
realised [x] before a vowel
and [h] elsewhere.
/ɣ/ becomes (or continues being)
Palatalised and unpalatalised variants behaved identically.
- /j/ after a nonpalatalised
consonant strengthens to /ɦʲ/,
for greater distinctiveness from palatalised consonants.
- Allophonic voicing of plosives becomes insignificant and
before long ceases. The voicing assimilation
rule keeps operating, but henceforth it
turns [-voice plosive][+voice fricative] clusters voiceless throughout,
and doesn't touch clusters of a sonorant and a plosive.
- Resolution of palatalised consonants.
- Labials simply lose palatality except that
dialectally /pʲ/ >
/pf/, and in all varieties
/mɲ/ in onsets, simplifying
to /ɲ/ in an onset cluster.
- Alveopalatals merge into postalveolars:
/tɕ ɕ ʑ/ >
/tʃ ʃ ʒ/.
- /c/ > /ts/,
filling a gap.
- /ɹʲ/ strengthens and
depalatalises to /r/. The nonpalatalised
/ɹ/ remains an approximant.
- /hʲ ɦʲ/ break to
/hʲj ɦʲj/ prevocalically
(the first of these is [xʲj]),
but stick around otherwise.
- No more syllabic fricatives; these join whatever syllable
they're next to, as appropriate.
- /θ ð/ >
- Fricative weakening. When not prevocalic, all voiceless fricatives
collapse to (a coloured) /h/ and all voiced ones
to (a coloured) /ɦ/. Labial
fricatives get a labial colouring /ʷ/,
postalveolar ones a palatal colouring /ʲ/
merging with the surviving palatalised ones,
the others no colouring. Ignore the colourings for the rest of
these rules except where explicitly invoked.
in a consonant cluster, which is necessarily with a voiceless obstruent,
disappears and turns that obstruent aspirated. Aspirated fricatives become
their corresponding affricate, except that
/pʰ/ in varieties where
/pf/ doesn't exist, and
- [h] (only the coda allophone)
after the main stress
yields mid register; /ɦ/
before the main stress yields low-rising register;
any /ɦ/ after the main stress
yields high-falling register. For now these consonants persist.
- Vowel shifts I.
- All vowels that come before a nasal are nasalised.
- Nasal vowels break into diphthongs with nasality only on
/ɛ̃ ɔ̃ ɑ̃/ >
- Among oral vowels,
high vowels (which are comparatively scarce)
break, the rest rise:
/i u e o ɛ ɔ a/ >
[ɘi̯ ɘu̯ i u e o ɜ],
causing some redistribution of phonemes,
except that the raising (not the breaking) is inhibited
when a low vowel
[a ɜ ɑɯ̯̃] follows.
This inhibition is the AhH a-mutation.
- Hiatuses where the first vowel is high or a diphthong
acquire an epenthetic approximant, /j/
after front vowels and /w/
after back ones.
- Syncope. The operative stress pattern at this time places
main stress on the root-initial vowel and secondary stress on
every second vowel in both directions.
Unstressed non-high vowels
[e o ɛ ɜ ɔ a]
are dropped in unstressed syllables, except where this would cause
a three-consonant onset or a two-consonant coda, not counting the
consonants [h ɦ].
Syncope renders all the outcomes of a-mutation phonemic,
and also divorces [x]
- Syncope however does proceed if it would leave
an overfull coda with last member one of
/j w/; in this case these
respectively change to /i u/.
- Syncope applied also to the nasal vowels
/ɛ̃ ɔ̃ ɑ̃/,
but more limitedly.
These were not deleted in stem-final position
(or in the suffixes forms of such stems), but usually were
stem-internally (subject to phonotactics).
- Voicing assimilation does its thing with the new clusters.
- The language still isn't really happy with having a voiced stop,
so the new /d/ gets it, becoming
[ɾ] in codas and a whole variety of
things, according to dialect, in onsets. (The pronunciation as
[d] is only retained in a small group
influenced by Kozado. Much later, when language standardisation
efforts come around, this [d] is
chosen for the standard in part
for its not having merged with something else, in
part for political reasons.)
- Other coda rhotics fall in with this
- /j w/ >
/ʝ β/, the latter
being a merger.
- Vowel shifts II.
- /ɘi̯/ merges into
/i/ in short order. (The distinction
bore practially no load; consonants before
/ɘi̯/ were palatalised,
those before /i/ overwhelmingly not.)
- /a/ >
/æ/ after which
/ɛ/ merges into it, and
/ɔ/ merges into
- /u ɘu̯/ >
Later both unround to
/ɨ ɘɨ̯/ and the latter
further develops to /ɜɨ̯/.
- The high back gap this creates is filled by
/ũ/, and in tandem
Shortly thereafter all nasal vowels lose nasality.
- /æ/ >
/e/ inward to
/ɘ(i̯)/, the offglide
failing to manifest before a non-apical consonant or
in certain weak positions.
- /ɜ ɜɨ̯/ >
/ä äi̯/ to fill the low gap.
Note the fronting of the glide.
- More diphthongs.
- /h ɦ/ disappear, except that
if they had a colouring
and immediately followed a vowel then they leave an offglide
displacing any offglide already there.
- Postvocalic /i ɨ u/
turn to offglides
/i̯ i̯ u̯/,
also displacing any offglide already there.
(Note that the ultimate AhH semivowels are currently fricatives,
so they don't do anything analogous.)
- Non-low vowels with /u̯/
offglide turn back rounded; back rounded vowels with
/i̯/ turn central unrounded.
- A vowel with exactly matching offglide loses it.
- The double diphthong rule: when two diphthongs are in successive
syllables, the offglide of one of them usually drops, and
it's usually the second one.