Ahh, the phonology test! It’s a rite of passage among linguists-
Dr. Professor Noarn Chornsky
The exam, which includes a hint of background information about the completely not-
— Phonology, FALL 2007Dr. Prof. Noarn ChornskyFinal Exam
This semester we have been investigating the language Timanto, created by L. L. Zamenhof in 1889 during a spell of depression. It has since become the native language of a small number of children born to grad students who have had to repeat this course several times in order to pass it.
As we’ve seen over the last few months, Timanto productively coins new words through the use of extensive noun compounding. These compounds are subject to a plethora of phonological processes.
First, a reminder of the phonological facts we know:
Timanto has six vowels
— a, e, i, o, u, and ə. All the vowels except schwa may be nãsãlized or leːngtheːned or bõːth. Non- nasalized long or short vowels (excluding schwa) may carry lòw or hígh tone; all unmarked vowels are mid tone.
- The consonant inventory includes: p, t, k, q, b, d, g, ɢ, m, n, ŋ, l, r, f, θ, s, š, x, h, v, ð, z, ž, ɣ, č, and ǰ.
[N.B.: The Office of International Students requires me (i) to state that š, ž, č, and ǰ are considered by some to be “Americanist propaganda,” and (ii) to allow them to be rendered by weaker-minded students as ʃ, ʒ, tʃ, and dʒ, respectively, without any grading penalty
— though you will lose my personal respect. Exces͡sive and un͡neces͡sary use of ties wil͡l result in an im͡mediate deduction of one let͡ter grade. —N.C.]
The eight phonological rules we’ve discussed this semester are:
- Rule C
— Cluster Reduction
- [+stop -voice] → ∅ / [+fricative -voice]__
- Rule E
- ∅ → ə / θ__l
- Rule H
- C1V2 → ∅ / C1V2 __
- Rule I
— Intervocalic Voicing
- [+fricative -voice] → [+voice] / V__V
- Rule N
- Vn → Ṽ
- Rule O
— Open Syllable Lengthening
- V → [+long] / __ #
- Rule P
- t → č / __i
- Rule T
— Tone Sandhi
- V̀ → V / C__C(C)V́
The six examples below are subject to the eight rules above. Not all eight rules apply to every word, and they do not apply in the order listed above. Your task is to determine the proper ordering for all eight rules based on the data provided below.
underlying form: kθù + θùs + pùsurface form: kθùsùːgloss: “failure shame couch”meaning: futonunderlying form: ãːčit + i + nosurface form: ãːčĩoːgloss: “space bear apparatus”meaning: Mir space stationunderlying form: qə + sés + éa + nsurface form: qəzéãgloss: “ignominy bird offspring stone”meaning: chicken eggunderlying form: inθũː + ki + nà + pósurface form: ĩðũːkĩàpóːgloss: “barbarian phlegm slime vengeance”meaning: mayonnaiseunderlying form: mĩː + fof + osurface form: mĩːvoːgloss: “ocean snot knot”meaning: clamunderlying form: màθ + lítsurface form: maðəlítgloss: “word monkey”meaning: linguist
The solution to last issue’s puzzle, Post Script, is explained below. The Editor-
The Cherokee symbols spell out RASMVS RASK, which is the intended inscription because SpecGram is far too classy to carve the letter “U” into stone. (The fact that the Cherokee syllabary does not contain a letter that looks like a Roman “U” is completely coincidental.)
Each of the puzzlemeisters below will receive some moderately desirable SpecGram merch:
Thorsten Schröter • Kevin Carde • Yuval Wigderson
In addition, the following puzzlers have achieved the everlasting glory that comes with an honorable mention:
Dan Sidorov • Olivia Doherty