Taani is the eponymous language of the Taani, a tribal civilization located in Antarctica.
Cultural background Edit
The general characteristics of Taani phonology are an extremely small phonemic inventory (comprising between seven and ten phonemes depending on the analysis), along with complex allophony and somewhat liberal phonotactic rules.
The consonants of Taani are
- m /m/: bilabial nasal;
- n /ɲ/: palatal nasal (or any nasal made with the tongue);
- p /p/: bilabial stop;
- t /c/: palatal stop (or any stop made with the tongue);
- c /ç/: palatal fricative (or any fricative made with the tongue).
The two undisputed vowels of Taani are
- i /ɨ/: high vowel;
- a /a/: low vowel.
Taani distinguishes two vowel lengths, with /ɨ:/ and /a:ɨ/ traditionally written as ii and aa respectively. Some analyses propose that /ɨ:/ and /a:/ be considered as distinct phonemes, which would give Taani nine rather than seven phonemes in total. This author takes the position that the distinction is ultimately unimportant to describing the Taani language as it is spoken.
The diphthongs /aɨ/, /a:ɨ/, /ɨa/, and /ɨ:a/ are all attested and written respectively as ai, aai, ia, and iia. These cannot be considered as distinct phonemes since the corresponding multisyllables /a ɨ/, /a: ɨ/, /ɨ a/, /ɨ: a/ do not occur.
As might be expected for a language with so few phonemes, Taani has quite an intricate collection of allophony rules. These rules vary significantly between tribes; given below is one example, that of the Cipmiat (the first Taani tribe contacted).