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I have been reconstructing Austro-Thai believing it to be a rather easy undertaking and it mostly was, the consonants between the two language families line up rather well only with occasional aberrations and some concern with prenasalized and preglottalized consonants. However the vowels seem to be something completely different, some of them are exactly the same between languages but for the most part it's completely random. I think that the vowels are essentially stuck in a feedback loop kind of like Japanese where some of the vowels have semivowels tacked on like o being wo, and i being ji, then those semivowels affecting consonants and then the consonants affecting the vowels so on and so forth. I'm really lost on what to do to resolve this issue, https://docs.google.com/document/d/1CF2UXHQ3WlinigI3INcQviZ9JvclrMR7_Lw4bOOqzl4/edit?usp=sharing if you know anything that could help please tell me because I'm really interested in this reconstruction.

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    Have you read Benedict's work? What did he do with the vowels?
    – jlawler
    Aug 6 at 18:12
  • Sorry I hadn't read that yet, thank you though I'll check it out. Aug 6 at 19:05
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    Thank you a lot that proved very helpful, and the articles I found specifically addressed the issues I was encountering. Thanks! Aug 6 at 19:13
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    vowels are often trickier to reconstruct than consonants
    – Tristan
    Aug 8 at 9:28
  • Right. PIE vowels are a nightmare; over several thousand years and many dialects, the vowels are full of subroutines marked "h", but the consonants are pretty clear (except for those who reconstruct ejectives instead of voiced stops, but the series are clear). The quick-and-dirty PIE rule is Sanskrit for consonants and Greek for vowels; that will get you about as far as "to a first approximation, an animal is a beetle".
    – jlawler
    Aug 9 at 2:24

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