A. Walker Scott

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Gravgaln Phonology


     The consonant inventory of Gravgaln is rather large by Human standards. There are especailly large sets of both fricatives (20) and plosives (15). But the eight affricates, five aproximants, four nasals and three laterals are also somewhat larger sets than would normally be found in Human languages, though not entirely exceptional. This inventory requires twelve points of articulation (POAs) to account for all the various sounds, with fricatives alone filling eleven POAs.


     Gravgaln has a very large inventory of vowels, with nine points of articulation (POAs). They are in a regular distribution with three high, three mid, and three low, but also three fron, three central, and three back, forming a dense square of distribution. All of these POAs can be either +round or -round, excepr for the low central vowel, which only comes in the -round variety, in the modern language. However, it is clear that an earlier stage of the language must have had both +round and -round options at this POA as well, in the past, because some verbal roots with /ɐ/ trigger rounded vowel harmony, while others trigger unrounded harmony.


     The Gravgaln syllable has a maximal form of CCCCVCCC, so phonotactics are necessarily complex. While a bare nucleus is possible, such is strongly dispreferred. Zero onset is permitted, but mainly occurs in borrowed vocabulary, and while zero final does occur in native vocabulary, it is rare. CVC is the smallest common syllable form, and is quite common.