Winodanugaian Phonology and Morphology
Vowels in Winodanugaian have six different values for frontness, thirteen values for height, three degrees of rounding and four length distinctions. There are seven tone levels and vowels may have as many as six tonemes associated with each. It is therefore impossible in this preliminary report to give a full description of Winodanugaian phonology. However, we can note a few simple generalizations: the consonantal system of Winodanugaian is very simple, having only eight consonants (w, d, g, p, t, n, m, ŋ); vowels are the only tone bearing units, and consecutive tonemes associated with a single vowel may not be identical.
We can also see the effects of this plethora of vowels (936 vowels, each able to bear one of 65317 logically possible tones, giving over 61 million possible vowels (with tone)) on the morphology of Winodanugaian. All personal pronouns are of the shape /mV/, a shape which only pronouns have. These pronouns refer to arbitrary groups of individuals. Note that we are not talking about an arbitrary number of individuals, but an arbitrary group. My consultant was able to think of, in under a minute, over fifty pronouns that refer to groups of exactly fourteen individuals. My consultant was also able to list two hundred pronouns which include herself in the group referred to.
A typical pronoun acquisition exchange goes something like this (translated into English, as I have not yet worked out a transcription system for Winodanugaian):
A: Tonight PRO3,792 will be coming to visit.
B: Who is PRO3,792?
A: Juan, Maria, and all of their children but Pedro.
After this exchange, the pronoun I have arbitrarily catalogued as PRO3,792 will be effortlessly associated with the group mentioned by Speaker B in the future. I have been able to catalogue over 23,700 such pronouns, by recording them and analyzing the recordings digitally. Otherwise I would be helpless, like the idiot who can hear but not remember, or the deaf twins who can remember but are unable to make more than a few hundred vowel distinctions (including tones).
Finally, it is stranger still, but true, that in Winodanugai, these multitudinous vowel differences are found only in the personal pronouns. The rest of the language seems to be atonal, using only about 15 vowel qualities, which have predictable rounding, and distinguish only two lengths.
More research is necessary to unravel the intricacies of this system. Said research will require more and abundant funding.
|Claude Searsplainpockets||Somewhere in the Pacific|
|How to Spot Fabricated Data--Tim Pulju|
|The Etymology of Timothy--Eura U. Pertú|
|SpecGram Vol CXLVII, No 3 Contents|