I mentioned in the index that I believe our ideographic associations with sounds are not entirely arbitrary, and that I believe it valuable to use the sounds "appropriately". Here I'll list all the associations as I perceive them; it will likely be enlightening for me, others, or both.
Nasals and liquids¶
- distance, isolation
- simplicity, smallness
- closeness, the self
- physicalness; the body
- comfort, support
- balance, conflict
- will, willpower
- strength, vigor
- softness, comfort
- vibrance, clarity
- deep, ancient
- spiritual, sublime
- strict, rigid, hard
- strict, rigid, hard
- thin, precise
- nature, fertility
- destruction, entropy
- physical power
- strong, hard
- bad, ugly
- struggle, pain, conflict
- skill, speed
- cunningness or slyness, deception
- Kind of a mix between
- calm, logic
- clear, straight, right
- unimportant, implementation
- thin, simple, ethereal
- grammatical basics
- good (in axiological senses; moral and aesthetic)
- high, open
- cold, dark, low, lonely, self
- side, middle
- thin, small
- straight, right, proper
- forward, explicit
- weak vowel. some properties of
- very weak vowel. But more forward.
A couple thoughts not on any particular phoneme:
In general, bilabial consonants are physical. This is because they make us most conscious of our mouth.
Weak vowels get concrete, often physical things. "Big" vowels (particularly
iand u) get more abstract things.
For the most essential and common words, the above associations were less important to me than making them 1 syllable and giving them sounds I like.
Similarly, a lot of sounds have formed "happenstance associations" in Spem, that have less to do with me thinking they actually sound that way and more to do with that I needed a family of related words that I knew would all be used very often and I had a sound I'd been underusing. Some examples would be all the question words starting with
k, and all the demonstratives starting with t; this is probably also how mgot associated with "more/many".
I don't like words ending in stops, partly because it clashes with that most Spem words start with a consonant.
I basically never end a word with
ɪ, a, or ɵ. It sounds cringey to me. I also tend to avoid eat the end compared to not at the end.
I don't like phonetic repetition. I'm pretty sure this one is universal.
While I tend to talk as if all this is a matter of correctness and I have completely pure intentions in naming words, there's also a big element of vertical judgement here. I find some sounds more beautiful than others and as such I'm heavily biased toward using them more. I'm not sure to what extent these judgements are just me, so I should list those too.
My favorite vowels are, ordered, something like:
My favorite consonants:
My only really disliked consonants:
As you can see, as a general pattern I prefer voiceless stops and voiced fricatives.
A few other patterns maintained more for the sake of consistency. If you see me going against these patterns anywhere, call me out, cause I shouldn't.
When I have a transitive/reflexive verb pair, if either one ends in either, the transitive ends in
iand the reflexive in u.