Noalath consonant mutation
In Noalath, initial consonants mutate in various inflectional paradigms. Sometimes these mutations are the sole distinctions between two cells in a paradigm, and sometimes they are accompanied by other elements (e.g. prepositions or affixes). In either case, there are two separate phenomena at work. The first are the consonant mutations themselves, of which there are three which are constant. The second is the way these mutations are used in particular paradigms. In this section, the specific mutations themselves will be detailed.
N-mutation is a mutation that was effected by the presence of a preceding nasal. For example, in nouns, the preposition an effected n-mutation in a following noun. N-mutation changes a following consonant as follows:
- Voiceless stops voice: p > b, t > d, ch > j, k > g
- Voiced obstruents nasalize: b > m, d > n, l > n, j > ny, g > ng
- Fricatives fortify: f > p, v > b, th > t, s > ts, sh > ch
- Rhotics fortify: r > d
- Glottals Disappear: h > Ø
Other consonants or initial vowels are unaffected.
V-mutation is a mutation that was effected by the presence of a preceding non-palatalizing vowel. For example, in nouns, the article u effected v-mutation in a following noun. V-mutation changes a following consonant as follows:
- Stops spirantize: p > f, b > v, t > th, d > dh, ch > sh, j > zh, k > h, g > h
- Sibilants lenite: s > h, sh > h
- Weak fricatives disappear: f > Ø, v > Ø, th > Ø, h > Ø
- Glides fortify: y > zh
Other consonants are unaffected. When a word begins with a vowel, sometimes a consonant is inserted to break up the hiatus caused by the preceding vowel (usually h).
Y-mutation is a mutation that was effected by the presence of a preceding palatalizing vowel. For example, in nouns, the article ü (earlier a combination of u followed by a palatalizing vowel) effected y-mutation in a following noun. Y-mutation changes a following consonant as follows:
- Coronal and velar oral and nasal stops palatalize: t > ch, d > j, n > ny, k > ch, g > j
- Coronal and back fricatives palatalize: th > sh, s > sh, h > sh
- Weak fricatives lenite: f > y, v > y
- Rhotics fortify: r > zh
- Laterals lenite: l > y
Other consonants are unaffected. When a word begins with a vowel, a y is inserted before the vowel.