Phonemic contractions and other processes of morphophonology
Historical use of the glottal stop
Old Andanese had held onto a phonemic voiceless uvular stop /q/ inherited from Tapilula. This eventually changed into a glottal stop /ʔ/. While this glottal stop was still phonemic, Andanese underwent a sound change that turned the sound sequences /ki ti hi/ before another vowel into a new phoneme, /s/. Then, later on, the glottal stop disappeared, leaving behind new vowel sequences. Thus, sequences of /ki ti hi/ plus a vowel were once again possible, and the words in which it had changed to /s/ as part of a grammatical operation came to be seen as irregular. The native Andanese script kept the now-silent glottal stop distinct by using different symbols for its syllables, so this unpredictability was not generally a problem for the speakers of the language, but soon the use of the separate symbols fell out of use and they came to be recycled to spell /s/ itself. Thus, one of Andanese's few irregularities is that compounds of a morpheme ending in /ki ti hi/ and one beginning in a vowel sometimes collapse into /s/ sequences and sometimes they do not. This has still not been regularized by analogy.
At the same time as the above shift, the syllables /ku tu pu/ plus a vowel all shifted to /p/. This was not a new phoneme, but it previously had been rare in initial position because of an earlier shift which had changed it to /gʷ/ (whose pronunciation varied between a true [gʷ] and [w]) when it began an accented syllable, and most words at that time were accented on their initial syllable. Thus, this sound change also takes place unpredictably when a word ending in one of those syllables is compounded with certain vowel-initial words.
- NOTE, WOULD IT MAKE MORE SENSE TO RESTRICT THIS SECOND SHIFT TO JUST THE INHERITED LABIALIZED CONSONANTS?
At older stages of the language, similar shifts had taken place which led to different results. For example, the classifier prefix ki-' indicates men or boys, and contracts to a k- before a word historically beginning in a vowel. It doesn't become s- because the sound shift that caused this change happened much earlier than the /ki/ > /s/ shift, and therefore /ki/ had been eliminated in all of the environments in which it would have been able to shift to /s/. This /ki/ > /k/ shift is still blocked by words historically beginning with a glottal stop, though, because the glottal stop was still there (as /q/) at the time of the /ki/ > /k/ shift. Thus, to refer to the ulihipinimu "hip bone" of a male, one would say kiulihipinimu "man's hip bone", not *kulihipinimu or *sulihipinimu.