With geometrical, dimensional views on the phonemes, it's
reasonable to aspect that the choice of phonemes for different
semantic and syntactic use isn't totally random.
Naturally, there are a lot of other factors
that differentiate languages as the fact that language is
inherited, further sound shift "laws", different
environments and cultures etc.
The geometrical aspects alone, with "dimension
chains" of both levels of speech, of phoneme types
and of articulation positions of phonemes, give also a multitude
of possibilities. There are, however, some interesting examples
from the literature that may reveal the impact of these
geometries on choice of phonemes.
- m, n, l, r represents ordinary noun suffixes in
both Indo-European and Semitic languages (LB).
- m - n - l - t seems common in Swahili as phonemes
in affixes according to a phrase book.
Types - Positions, connections in the loop model:
- n and l are common in case endings in Hungarian,
n a case ending with the sense "in, inside",
l a suffix for "out of or of" (BC).
(It seems to mirror positions!)
Grammar (syntax) as d-degree 4 expressed in case endings
and affixes: Compare step 4-3 in the big underlying chain
for levels in speech and nasals in step 4-3:
- As for phoneme types it looks here as plosives and
their fricative versions should constitute the body
in morphemes or word stems ?
If phoneme types P and F through some
deep disposition should be chosen for the central body of
consonants in word stems, it could perhaps have connection
with the same steps in the big level chain, where we suggested
that word classes (here = "parts of sentences")
developed in step 3-2, morphemes in step 2-1.
Both nasals and liquids as affixes are characterized
by a branched air current, but in complementary ways: for
nasals depending on soft palate with uvula from above (dorsal
side) and outer stop (as inwards defined), for liquids on
the tongue raised from below (ventral side); a correspondence
uvula - tongue could be noted. The air current is branched
vertically in nasals, horizontally in liquids, also a complementarity.
Compare perhaps syntactic case endings
as debranched to the level of word classes - and phonetically
liquids in step 1→0/00 as
debranched from higher d-degree steps.
5 → 4 →
In many of the examples that Linus Brunner gives (LB
p. 44) on the reversal of the 3rd nuancing consonants
in Semitic word stems to 2nd position in Indo-European languages,
this nuancing, differentiating consonant is n, (m), r
and l. If appearing as 2nd consonant in the IE-languages,
they could therefore be original endings.
The sequence of phonemes in words becomes a change in direction,
analogous to the development of step 1-0/00 inwards step
3 - 2 in our dimension chain: l and n in the
examples as a kind of infix:
The reversal of such phonemes were fully implemented only
in the verbs (LB). Why? Perhaps because reversals
imply switching direction, and verbs primarily may be connected
with directions and vectors - as we have done in these interpretations?
Regarding the dimension chain for positions, the
outer nasal n are formed approximately at the same
position as the front plosives d and t and
front l-sound and represents a lower d-degree step,
belongs in positions to "2 - 1"-phonemes.
Among Uralic languages, it's said (BC)
that a native Finnish word stem or smallest, independent,
sense-carrying morphemes (what BC calls a link) can
only end in consonants n, t, s, r,. l, that's positions
"2 - 1", AP-A-DA.
(Cf. our interpretation of the
agglutinating language type as corresponding to
a loop: steps 4 —>
3 ...... 2 <—1.)
The l-sound represents unfinished action in Finnish.
It's also used in reflexive meaning (BC): that's
direction d-degree 1 as inwards.
Again, d-degree 1 - eventually polarized
to 0/00 of motions, is represented in each step in the dimension
chain, outwards or inwards This could explain why the liquids
l and r are freely exchangeable in many languages.
In such things as reflexive pronouns, (as in words as round
and rotation for instance), the r-phoneme could illustrate
the turn of direction in last d-degree 0/00 of motions,
the referring back, ~ inwards in the dimension chain.
Outwards, the r-phoneme, the vibrant,
occurs often in "frequentive" verbs in Samoyedic,
that is verbs with sense of repetition. Compare in Swedish
r-suffix for indefinite plural, ~ 00-pole. There
is also the r-sound (in both Swedish and English
in comparatives, a kind of plural or repetition as enforcement
The vibrant, the r-sound
in d-degree 0/00 of motions in our dimension model, is often
used as such, in Swedish as verb ending (singular, in modern
Swedish also plural) for present tense (-er). The
r-sound is specially frequent also as suffixes of
verb stems in Semitic languages. Hence, verbs here regarded
from the aspect of activity, of motions.
Already Plato wrote about the r-sound
in words for motions, according to a quotation (BC).
In connection with word categories as verbs, nouns, adjectives,
there are in Indo-European languages certain differences
between nasals and liquids as phonemes in suffixes (LB):
(Aspects in file Word
m, n are foremost suffixes for nouns and adjectives.
The lateral l represent often a diminutive form and
tools ("endings" or "suffixes" of the
human hand !), as in some Uralic languages (BC).
The vibrant r occur most frequently as suffix in
Thus, we can find a certain parallel between
phonemes and word categories in the displacement outwards
in a dimension chain: nasals —>
liquids, a shift towards outer phoneme types, and from
nouns to nouns in secondary roles to adjectives, according
to the interpretation of the dimension chain for word categories..
In Uralic languages, p and k become endings
for nouns derived from verbs (BC, u), which
we could interpret as result of a feeling that plosives
as total barriers are connected with nouns as closed units?
Other derivative endings according to
the same reference, as pt or kt for verbs
derived from verbs, contradict obviously any unambiguous
interpretation. Could they perhaps hide an intermediate
substantivized phase of the verb? (As in form →
formula → formalize.)
Alternatively, one could eventually see
traces of the verb as direction in the movement of the tongue
from lower to upper level of plosives in p →
t, which also is a movement from inner to outer plosive
in k→t ?
The r-sound became a case suffix in nominative -
accusative in (many?) Indo-European languages, according
to one statement. This could perhaps be derived from a feeling
that subject - object in a sentence represented a centre
- anticentre (0 — 00)
relation, the two phases or parts 0/00 in the vibrant?
The phonemes n and t are endings for different
classes of nouns in definite form in Swedish, eventually
forms that first reflected personal versus neuter nouns
(?), now randomly distributed among all kind of things.
Cf. phonemes n and t with internal/external,
with living/lifeless, voiced versus voiceless sounds: (
"en - ett" = one).
In vowels we have the strong verbs were past tense often
is marked by a deeper or back vowel, an inward direction.
These few examples and speculations about interpretations
demonstrate mostly that phonemes don't need to be arbitrarily
selected ("initially"), that we can assume a link
between phonemes and meaning, the start and end in the level
chain of language.
It implies that development of languages
may have been "onomatopoeic" in a much
wider sense than the ordinary imitating one: speech organs
used to "imitate" or illustrate the deeper, complex
geometries of own and external Nature.