COMPARISON ANALYSIS OF THE CONSONANT SYSTEMS OF CONSTRUCTED LANGUAGES Шувалова О.Н.,Цветкова В.Р.

Московский государственный университет им. М.В. Ломоносова


Номер: 5-5
Год: 2016
Страницы: 76-80
Журнал: Актуальные проблемы гуманитарных и естественных наук

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The study is to show how a constructed language created by a Finno-Ugric speaker reveals phonological features belong to the mother tongue of its author, and what regularity can be found between deliberate and undeliberate phonological borrowings of Hungarian and Finnish speakers. Nowadays the topic about constructed languages (or “conlangs”) comes up more often than a few years ago. This can be explained by the broadening of their usage in the modern entertainment sphere: the recent success of such languages in movies which has even created a new tendency in some genres - fantasy or sci-fi, where it is constructed for a race or a nation to characterize it. This function can be called an “artistic function”. Later these conlangs can be also used for the commercial purpose: after success of a film the audience surely pays attention to books or other production containing some information about these conlangs. Recently, researchers have shown an increased interest in this area, classifying constructed languages and defining their functions. There are several different classifications, based on external or inner functions or intentions. The most relevant for us in this paper is the classification created by M. Sidorova and O. Shuvalova («Интернет-лингвистика: вымышленные языки»). It classifies conlangs on its purpose of creation and group two divisions: • Auxlangs - aiming to be a language for international communication. The most common and important features used in their systems and easily explained by the purpose are clarity, logic, clear meaning. The most famous examples: Esperanto, Volapük , Interlingua. • Conlangs - which is divided into two subgroups: • conlangs created for an art-project, such as films, books or computer games. Such languages, as it was said before, are used for artistic and categorizing purpose, which make them sound specifically for the audience to be able to perceive the nature of its speakers. Examples: Quenya (an Elvish language created by Tolkien), Dothraki and High Valyrian (from “Game of Thrones” series). • conlangs created as a linguistic experiment or an independent piece of art. Authors of such languages may be either professional linguistists or people without any specific linguistic knowledge. There are thousands of conlangs nowadays, the quality of which varies from «sketches» to finished projected with original texts and translations. Examples: Kēlen (by Sylvia Sotomayor), Ithkuil (by John Quijada). It’s important to notice, as it was mentioned before, that in latest 2000-es a new tendency in films makes this field more professional: conlangs are getting more and more linguistically developed and described, some new difficult aspects turn out to be mentioned, such as typological elements and deep analyses of translated and original texts. Recent developments in this area have heightened the need for its studying. However, yet not many aspects have been covered. There is no doubt that conlangs are being analyzed, but mostly only those which authors are English native speakers. This article attempts to study some inner linguistic features of conlangs, which is: how a conlang is connected with its author’s native tongue. The analysis of systems of the conlang and the natural language of its author may reveal the elements which are similar to both conlang and natlang systems. These elements, if they exist, mean the most important and inalienable parts of the grammars of the mother tongue which the conlanger brings to his or her conlang voluntarily or involuntarily. For this reason, I’d like to study two conlangs by two authors, whose L1 do not belong to the Indo-European family. The objects of our studies are: Name of a conlang Ditronó (since 2013) Theluny (since 2010) About the authors: L1 Hungarian and Romanian (bilingual) Finnish Other language knowledge English (C2), Spanish (B1), German (B1). English (C2), Swedish (B2), Estonian (A2), Russian (A2). Occupation IT-developer Linguist (1) It’s important to notice that Ditronó’s author is not a linguist. It is often the reason of some features of the conlang, as it is being creating based only on the knowledge of the languages the author is familiar with: English, Spanish and German. Besides, sometimes information about other languages being found on the internet, is also used. The main issues of our analysis are: 1) to show how the phonology system of the natlangs and the conlangs (Finnish - Theluny and Ditronó - Hungarian, Romanian) correlate to each other, 2) what features from the natlangs are taken to the conlangs and 3) if the list of these borrowings can have any similarity comparing to each other. Ditronó 1.1) Phonemes Ditronó: Labial Alveolar Palatal Velar Glottal All the phonemes, like in the vowel system, are represented in Hungarian. Nasal m n Stop p b t d k ɡ Affricate t͡s Fricative f v s z h Thrill r Approximant l j Hungarian: Labial Alveolar Postalveolar Palatal Velar Glottal There are only a few phonemes Ditronó doesn’t have. All the other phonemes and their place and way of articulation coincide. Nasal m n ɲ Stop p b t d c ɟ c͡ç ɟ͡ʝ k ɡ Affricate t͡s d͡z t͡ʃ d͡ʒ Fricative f v s z ʃ ʒ h Thrill r Approximant l j Romanian: Labial Labial - Dental Dental Postalveolar Velar Glottal (1) /t/ and /d/ are dental, contrasting to alveolar Ditronó; (2) There is no /j/; (3) Some of the phonemes are not represented in Ditronó. Nasal m n Stop p b t d k ɡ Affricate t͡s t͡ʃ d͡ʒ Fricative f v s z ʃ ʒ h Thrill r Approximant l According to that, the phoneme set of Ditronó is similar to Hungarain. There are ten phonemes the conlang doesn’t have: /d͡z/, /t͡ʃ/, /d͡ʒ/, /ʃ/, /ʒ/, /ɲ/, /c/, /ɟ/, /c͡ç/ and /ɟ͡ʝ/, which are not typical for European languages, which might have been the reason for the author not to add them. 2.2) Consonant changing The grammar description of Ditronó doesn’t contain any information about the assimilation processes yet, so there is no possibility to analyze this pattern of the system. 2.3) Gemination Romanian Hungarian Ditrono None + - 2.3) Palatalization Romanian Hungarian Ditrono + Only a few phonemes - 2.4) Conclusion As we can see, the consonant system of Ditronó has more similarity to Hungarian, than to the Romanian language, which differs greatly from it. On the other hand there are some different elements in Hungarian and Ditronó as well, such as: 1) The consonant systems differ with a few phonemes: /d͡z/, /t͡ʃ/, /d͡ʒ/, /ʃ/, /ʒ/, /ɲ/, /c/, /ɟ/, /c͡ç/ and /ɟ͡ʝ/. 2) No geminates in Ditronó; 3) No consonant changings (which might be explained by the fact that the author is not a linguist). Theluny 2.1) Phonemes Theluny: Labial Dental Palatal Velar Pharyngeal The author’s comments: 1) /f/ and /d/ are only used for loan words. 2) [k] is pronounced half voiced in contrast to [kʰ], since there is no fully voiced [g]. Correspondingly, [kʰ] is strongly aspirated. 3) I'm not 100% sure if [ħ] is accurate phone. It's the closest equivalent I could find. Nasal m n̪ Stop t̪ d̪1 kʰ k2 Sibilant s̪ Fricative f1 θ ʃ x ħ3 Approximant l̪ j (1) There is only one voiced stop consonant - /d/, used for loanwords. (2) The only voiced - voiceless opposition are: /d/ - /t/ and, partly, /k/ - /kʰ/. (3) /m/, /t̪/, /j/, /k/, /f/, /ʃ/ are the same as in Finnish; (4) /kʰ/, /x/, /θ/ don’t exist in Finnish; (5) [l̪], [n̪], [ʃ], [ħ] are allophones in Finnish. Finnish: Labial Dental-alveolar Alveolar Palatal Velar Glottal Nasal m n ŋ Stop p (b) t̪ d k (ɡ) Sibilant s (ʃ) Fricative (f) h Thrill r Approximant ʋ l j (1) For most speaker /t/ - [t̪], /n/ and /d/ are alveolar; (2) /d/ in native words exists only as a variant for /t/, appearing as a result of the consonant gradation (sade ‘rain’ - sataa ‘to rain’); In other cases it’s used only for loanwords. (3) /b/, /f/, /g/, /ʃ/ only occur in loanwords. (4) /ʋ/, /p/, /b/, /r/, /ŋ/, /ɡ/ - don’t exist in Theluny. Thus, the phoneme systems of Finnish and Theluny are quite different. There are unique phones, the phones which can be allophones in one language and phonemes in the other, but yet some common logical regularity can be found: 1. Both these languages seem to avoid voiced stop consonants. 2. Theluny doesn’t have any phonemes which way of articulation doesn’t exist in Finnish: new phones appear only because of changing the place of articulation (for example, many Finnish alveolar became dental). 2.2) Consonant changing and allophones Finnish Theluny Gemination + - Assimilation There are assimilation processes and regular consonant gradation. Theluny has a developed system of consonant gradation which concerns only limited number of phonemes. The rule is: the voiceless is assimilated before the voiceless. Palatalization - - 2.3) Conclusion The consonants system of Theluny differs from Finnish more than Ditronó differs from Hungarian. It’s characterized by well-developed phonology, including the description of position changing and allophone system. In general, the common elements of Finnish and Theluny are: 1. The ways of articulation are similar; 2. In both languages the lack of voiced consonant is easy to notice: the only voiced stop phoneme of Theluny is /d̪/ which is only used for loanwords, the opposition /g/ - /k/ is realized as /k/ - /kʰ/; 3. /d/ or /d̪/ has a special status of a phoneme for loanwords in Theluny and Finnish alike; 4. There are prolonged consonants in both languages; 5. The changing of consonants are regular and logical. Comparison and conclusions To find common elements, which conlangers take from their native languages, we analyzed step by step all features that Ditronó and Theluny have in common with Hungarian and Finnish. Now we can juxtapose the results. Finnish Hungarian Theluny Ditronó Geminates + + - - Assimilation + + + ? Palatalization + + - - Notes: The mark “?” appears when there isn’t enough information about a feature (that happens to Ditronó). This study has shown that there is a comparable connection between Finnish - Theluny and Hungarian - Ditronó, and the elements borrowed from Finno-Ugric natlangs to the conlangs are similar to each other. Clearly, these elements can be considered as inalienable parts of the language. Moreover, taking into account the fact that one of the conlanger is a linguist and the other is not, we can say that at least some of the borrowing components were brought involuntarily.

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