What I mean is the /j/ sound (as in English "yellow" and French hyène) (hyène means hyena) is the most common semivowel around the world. This phoneme is highly conserved in Indo-European languages (this language family include Italic languages like French and Italian, Germanic languages like English and Dutch, Slavic languages like Russian and Polish, etc.).
Also, the /i/ sound (as in English "hippie") (the word "hippie" is also used in French) in one of the most, if not the most common vowel around the world.
Both phonemes are almost universal, as the /m/ consonant (as in English "mother", and French mère) (mère means "mother").
I know many languages that lack the /w/ semivowel like Albanian, Armenian, Greek, and Russian (the /w/ semivowel is found in both English as in "world", and French as in "oiseau") ("oiseau" means "bird").
In the universe I am creating, there is a species named ogres (their scientific name is Homo obesus, so they are still humans, just not Homo sapiens) (Homo obesus means "obese human"). In the most spoken language used by ogres, there are five basic vowels:
- /a/ (as in French arbre) (arbre means "tree")
- the sound corresponding to the a in English "fall" (and the o in French ordinateur) (ordinateur means computer);
- /u/ (as in English "cool", and French ouvrier) (ouvrier means worker);
- /y/ (as in French univers) (univers naturally means "universe");
- and the sound corresponding to French eu (as in French euphémisme) (euphémisme naturally means "euphemism").
There are no diphthongs in the most spoken language used by ogres, but the are long vowels, and two nasal vowels: the sound corresponding to the an in French antagoniste (antagoniste naturally means "antagonist"), and the sound corresponding to the on in French mouton (mouton means both "sheep" and "mutton").
Also, the most spoken language used by ogres has both the /w/ semivowel, and the semivowel corresponding to the u in French fruit (fruit naturally means "fruit").
So, I wonder why would a language created by mammals from the Homo genus lack the /j/ semivowel, and even the /i/ vowel.