This is the last piece of documentation I need before I can start creating words. That's not to say that I'll go about word creation particularly quickly. For the time being, brivla are likely to be taken from Lojban without any attempt at making them fit the correct word patterns. Remember that these rules don't apply to cmevla.

Phonotactically, but not phonemically, I distinguish between the onset and coda of a syllable. Codas can contain 0 or 1 approximants followed by 0 or 1 nasals. There are some further restrictions:
  • If followed by an obstruent, a nasal must have the same place of articulation.
  • Sequences “ij” and “uw” are not allowed unless immediately followed by a vowel.
Onsets are where most difficulty arises. There are a lot of rules to make, but with some guidelines, the number of explicit rules needed can be lessened. The main rule is that all onsets must be pronounceable at the start of a word (i.e, after a pause). This implies that all onsets start with obstruents; sonorants would be part of the preceding coda. There are two other important rules:
  • If an onset is deemed pronounceable, so is its reflection.
  • If an onset is deemed pronounceable, so is its revoicing.
The functions “reflect” and “revoice” are both self-inverse, and defined by these tables:



The name “reflect” refers to the fact that, for its input, it picks the letter on the opposite side of the corresponding table about a vertical line of symmetry. “revoice” is a more obvious name. If one imagines the consonant table being 3-dimensional, revoice is similar to reflect, but works on a different axis (the voice axis, rather than the place-of-articulation axis).

These restrictions have some interesting corollaries. For instance, it can be seen that coronal (alveolar) consonants reflect to themselves. This gives them more freedom than labial and dorsal (velar) consonants, which lives up to our expectations of them. Sonorants, by revoicing to themselves, also enjoy similar freedom. ‘f’ and ‘x’ also revoice to themselves, but are probably heavily restricted, anyway.

To simplify things further, ‘o’, ‘a’ and ‘e’ are mutually considered phonotactically equivalent. ‘i’ and ‘u’ are special cases because they are close to ‘j’ and ‘w’. For example, I don't expect ‘pji’ to be valid, since it's too similar to ‘pi’. However, ‘pja’, ‘pju’, ‘pwi’ and ‘tji’ are all valid, being distinct enough from ‘pa’, ‘pu’, ‘pi’ and ‘ti’, respectively. Of course, for ‘pja’, we need to test ‘bja’, ‘kwa’ and ‘gwa’ before we accept it (and similar for the others).

Beyond that, there is only one more easily-stated rule I can think of: onsets cannot mix voicings. All of the other phonotactic rules are left, unfortunately, to common sense. That's implicitly my common sense, but I promise to not screw up!

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