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  • Pronouncing Esolanean

    Filed under Esolanean
    jan 28

    Ok, I got to thinking about how to pronounce Esolanean words.

    Two things go into this (at least): how each letter is pronounced, and which syllables to stress.

    I already have some indications as to both, since I’ve been using the few words I have in my mind for several years.

    /SINT/ is stressed.

    In /SINTor/, the first syllable is still stressed, but in /toMAL/ the second syllable is. Hm. /KATor/ stresses the first syllable as well, so it looks like the /-or/ suffix doesn’t move the stress.

    /sintAro/originally stressed the second syllable, but I rather like /SINTaro/ as well, which would work with a general rule that suffixes do not move the stress. /BENapak/ stresses the first syllable, so that’d work if /-apak/ is one or more suffixes. /Ben/ meaning <wander> is pretty cool too, since /ben/ mean leg (or legs) in Danish. I’m not aiming for a language like Danish, but I like cross-language puns.

    So it looks like stress is on the last syllable of the stem word for one- and two-syllable stems. Looking over the longer words I’m generating, I have a feeling that the rule might be to stress the second syllable for any stem longer than one syllable.

    For the other part, pronounciation, I’ve been trying to figure out at least some of that whole IPA thing.

    Looks like most of the letters I’m using represent sounds that have the same characters in IPA, so that makes it quite a bit easier, but one thing popped up, at least: /r/ is pronounced [ɹ].

    WordBuilder naturally supports unicode characters, so that shouldn’t be a problem… erm. Oops. Unicode support is broken in v1.5 because of the syntax coloring. New version with support for IPA characters is coming in a moment, as I have the fix implemented.

    After that, I added a new rule to my script – I figured some extra rules, such as /ar/ is pronounced like a long [a], and /r/ is trilled after /p/ and /o/, unless at the end of the word, where /or/ is just a long [ɐ]:

    rule pronounciation {
     translate {
      a r # => a ː
      o r # => ɐ ː
      o r => o !r // escape some r's
      p r => p !r
      r => ɹ
      !r => r // unescape after most r's are fixed.
      t => t̪ // t is dental.
     }
    }
    

    And added a branch at the end of my noun rule:

    rule noun {
     rule base
     rule noun-ending
     rule cleaning
     branch Pronounciation pronounciation
    }
    

    And finally added a column to my presentation:

    column Pron. Pronounciation

    Now, I get IPA pronounciation next to my words when I generate, albeit incomplete, because I haven’t worked all the way through the alphabet. More mappings in the translate command, and I’ll be done.

    Oh, and I realized a mistake I’d made earlier, when introducing the double consonant syllable rule – since it had the same weight as the other syllable rule, it got hit a lot of the time also for the first syllable, meaning that an overweight of the words started with a vowel. I’ve adjusted the weight so that it now generates a more tolerable amount of vowel-starting words, as well as fewer double consonants.

    Words now look like this:

    • merkamror [meɹkamɹɐː]
    • roben [ɹoben]
    • tepar [t̪epaː]
    • kamottepmor [kamot̪tepmɐː]
    • pisosbikar [pisosbikaː]
    • selnersin [selneɹsin]
    • ser [seɹ]
    • eran [eɹan]
    • lipikoen [lipikoen]
    • kaknotser [kaknot̪seɹ]

2 Responses to “Pronouncing Esolanean”

  1. Perhaps the stress is on the first CVC syllable(consonant-vowel-consonant). Obviously, with SINT, the NT is considered one consonant. So:
    MER kam ror
    ro BEN(or ROB en? meh)
    te PAR(… or TEP ar)
    ka MOT tep mor(the possible permutations get unpleasant at three syllables or more)
    pi SOS bi kar
    SEL ner sin
    SER(kinda, duh)
    e RAN(no idea how it would be stressed if it were distributed er an)
    li pi ko en(?) or LIP i ko en(for words consisting entirely of CV VC or V syllables, I personally like the sound of stress on the penultimate syllable. This is also where I would place secondary stress in longer words. So li pi KO en)
    KAK not ser

    This is all a matter of MY taste, such as it is, and a possibly flawed understanding of what you have said. I looked at my copy of the esolanean.wdic file and realized I’ve added a lot of junk, like orcs and goblins to the mix. It’s like I’m over here creating an odd dialect of Esolanean. Maybe I should start playing in my own sandbox for a change :).

  2. I’ll have to examine this more closely, but I do think it’s great that you’re playing around with my test language, and your feedback is useful to get my own thoughts straight(er) 😉

    For comparison, here’s how I’d instinctively stress these words:

    mer KAM ror
    ro BEN
    te PAR
    ka MOT tep mor (rule: stress the syllable before a double consonant?)
    pi SOS bi kar
    sel NER sin
    SER
    e RAN
    li PI ko en
    kak NOT ser

    so pretty consistently on the second syllable… Hm.

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