What is the ideal balance of consonants and vowels in a spoken language?

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In summary, the conversation is discussing the optimal and preferred number of consonants and vowels in a spoken language, and whether this varies based on pronunciation. It also mentions the Dutch language, which has a high number of vowels, and how this may be related to its adaptability and longevity. The conversation also mentions the diversity of languages and how they borrow from each other to create a unique and ever-evolving language. The conversation concludes with a quote about the English language being a "cribhouse whore" due to its tendency to borrow words from other languages.
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arivero
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The current Fields medal awarded to Maryna Viazovska makes me wonder: which is the optimal/preferred number of consonants and vowels of a spoken language? Do we have some statistics? Does it depends on particularities of the pronuntiation?
 
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  • #2
Why are the Dutch hoarding all those vowels when the poor Bosnians and Poles need them so badly?
 
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  • #3
Vanadium 50 said:
Why are the Dutch hoarding all those vowels when the poor Bosnians and Poles need them so badly?
Do not discard they opt for an error-correcting pronunciation based on 24 vowels and 8 consonants.
 
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  • #4
arivero said:
Do not discard they opt for an error-correcting pronunciation based on 24 vowels and 8 consonants.
Hm ... that many vowels seems like an error-inducing method.
 
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  • #5
English has a great many, Hawaiian has few. English has more sounds than are found in the Roman alphabet, so writing it is a transliteration.
 
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Goes to show that english as a melange of a great many languages by borrowing from wherever it sees fit will quite probably last for quite a long time, just because of its adaptablity.
 
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  • #7
256bits said:
Goes to show that english as a melange of a great many languages by borrowing from wherever it sees fit will quite probably last for quite a long time, just because of its adaptablity.
"English is about as pure as a cribhouse whore. We don't just borrow words; on occasion, English has pursued other languages down alleyways to beat them unconscious and rifle their pockets for new vocabulary.” - James Nicoll.
 
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  • #9
Vanadium 50 said:
"English is about as pure as a cribhouse whore."
We had to be whores, tribes kept bending over backwards to get over here and do their worst and a few got through.
I think it worked out ok, my ancestors had a hard time possibly but after over a 1000 years of invasions of our country lives and language? Out popped Chaucer, Shakespeare, a few other guys.
Its not my thing really but I have heard they were ok.
 
  • #10
Vanadium 50 said:
"English is about as pure as a cribhouse whore. We don't just borrow words; on occasion, English has pursued other languages down alleyways to beat them unconscious and rifle their pockets for new vocabulary.” - James Nicoll.
In other words, "fervent acquisition".
 

1. What are the 8 vowels and 24 consonants?

The 8 vowels are a, e, i, o, u, y, w, and h. The 24 consonants are b, c, d, f, g, j, k, l, m, n, p, q, r, s, t, v, x, z, ch, sh, th, wh, and ng.

2. How are vowels and consonants different?

Vowels are speech sounds that are produced with an open vocal tract, while consonants are speech sounds that are produced with a partial or complete obstruction of the vocal tract.

3. How do vowels and consonants work together to create words?

Vowels and consonants work together to form syllables, which are the building blocks of words. Vowels provide the core of the syllable, while consonants add structure and complexity to the syllable.

4. Are there any languages that use more or less than 8 vowels and 24 consonants?

Yes, there are many languages that use more or less than 8 vowels and 24 consonants. For example, the Hawaiian language only has 5 vowels and 8 consonants, while the Taa language spoken in Botswana has 31 vowels and 102 consonants.

5. How do vowels and consonants affect the pronunciation of words?

Vowels and consonants play a crucial role in the pronunciation of words. The combination and placement of vowels and consonants in a word determine how it is pronounced and can vary greatly between languages. Additionally, the presence or absence of certain vowels and consonants can change the meaning of a word entirely.

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