The study of the abstract aspect of the sounds or *phonemes* in a given language.

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what is the feature notation for total assimilation?

I know the Arabic definite article /l/ is a common example of this, as it assimilates to the following consonant if it's coronal. This would probably be easier in auto-segmental notation but how would ...
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3answers
72 views

Determining underlying representation

I'm really confused about how to determine underlying representation. Every thing I read seems to contradict the last. Trying desperately to solve this problem and I just seem to be going in circles ...
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2answers
53 views

What's a good example of the explanatory power of autosegmental phonology… for first year undergrads?

Our university is making a crash coarse in phonology for first year students so, while there is a dedicated phono module, there's also this streamlined overview of phonological theory. My job is to ...
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30 views

Theoretical implications of different models of distinctive features

There are multiple models of distinctive features. Wikipedia distinguishes between three main approaches: Acoustic: Jakobson and colleagues defined them in acoustic terms,[11] Articulatory: ...
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1answer
48 views

Do languages with long clusters have minimal vowel or consonant inventories?

I assume, considering the Onset principle, that there are not many languages that have a structure with VV or VVV but are there languages that have a CV.VV structure? If there is, I would assume that ...
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46 views

What feature classes do ʙ r ʀ belong to?

I am unsure which features would be inclusive of trills, any information is greatly appreciated! Also, if anyone knows of a feature chart online that includes trills and could link to it that would be ...
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1answer
60 views

Glottal stops that aren't tenuis

Is any language known to contain a glottal stop [ʔ] that isn't tenuis? For example, an aspirated glottal stop [ʔʰ], a palatalized glottal stop [ʔʲ], or a labialized glottal stop [ʔʷ]. CORRECTION: It ...
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3answers
103 views

Which languages contrast /ɕ/ and /ʃ/?

According to Wikipedia, there's a phonemic contrast between /ɕ/ and /ʃ/ in Ubykh, North Qiang, South Qiang and Luxembourgish (though they are merging). Do any other languages exhibit this distinction? ...
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1answer
72 views

Why are non-stop nasals so rare?

Almost every language has at least two nasal stops (usually /n/ and /m/), and a language that lacks any nasal stops is extremely rare. And yet, also very rare is any kind of nasal that isn't a stop, ...
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31 views

Are there Tai languages (or Tai-Kadai) which have a voiced velar stop phoneme?

Thai and Lao each have three series of stops, unvoiced unaspirated, aspirated, and voiced. For labials and alveolars, all three exist, but for velars there is no voiced stop. Is this the case for ...
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78 views

Why do French/German speakers round [ð] to /z/ while Italian/Hebrew speakers round it to /d/?

More generally, what factors determine which phoneme a non-phonemic foreign sound gets rounded to in a specific language when there are multiple possibilities available? Is the choice always ...
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53 views

Is there a phonotactics hierarchy?

For example, Japanese is (C)V(N) [plus that geminated stops across syllable boundaries thing], while Mandarin is (C)(G)(V)(G)(/n/ or /ŋ/) and Polynesian languages are just (C)V. Is there a gradation ...
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63 views

Could someone clarify for me what the difference between phonologically related and phonetically related means?

i.e. how are two allomorphs phonologically/phonetically related. Thanks!
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61 views

What are the foundational papers in computational phonology?

I'm working on a paper on the history of computational phonology. As I understand it, Chomsky & Halle's SPE acted as a catalyst for research in the field, namely by laying the foundations for ...
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1answer
158 views

What is an example of a language or dialect that contains triphthongs?

I spent some time on a research project examining spectrograms and coding vowels for speakers of American English from a few rural regions in the state of Oklahoma. I noticed that certain speakers ...
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1answer
107 views

Is there a vowel equivalent to the bilabial approximant?

/j/ is the semivocalic equivalent of /i/, /w/ of /u/, /ɥ/ of /y/, /ɰ/ of /ɯ/, and so forth, and I've also seen /ɹ/ described as the semivocalic equivalent of /ɚ/. Considering all of this, it seems ...
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59 views

Can Malay or Indonesian ever have an /n/ followed by a /g/?

Malay and Indonesian are considered to be very phonetically spelled with the usually cited exception being that orthographic "e" can represent either /e/ or /ə/. In both orthographies the sound /ŋ/ ...
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3answers
76 views

What is the IPA notation for Chinese zuo4cuo4 做错?

zuo4cuo4 is the pinyin-notation for 做错 = doing wrong. To my ear zuo4 and cuo4 sound very similar. I need the IPA notation to understand the difference in articulation.
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65 views

Is the labiodental flap used only in the beginning of words?

In 2005, the IPA phonetical alphabet got extended by including the labiodental flap. The wikipedia-page shows a good overview. However, I am wondering if the labiodental flap is restricted to be ...
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102 views

Phonological Differences Between Given Names and Surnames [closed]

I'm writing a CRF parser that splits a name string into components. For example, Bob Belcher => <GivenName>Bob</GivenName> <Surname>Belcher</Surname> Belcher, Bob => ...
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2answers
48 views

What phonologically redundant features can capture the characteristic of a voice more specifically?

Background-Explanation: A sound can be described by a list of articulatory features: If the list is sufficient to determine the function of the sound in a particular language, it matches the ...
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119 views

Are the unreleased stops in cantonese discernable by listening?

Background-Info: In contrast to mandarin Chinese, which can only have a few consonants at the and of a syllable, e.g. man, mang, Cantonese syllables can contain p,t,k at their end. Nevertheless, ...
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1answer
70 views

Size of phonemic inventory of individual speakers across different accents and dialects of English

This started out as a trivially simple question: How many phonemes are there in the different dialects and accents of English? I just needed a simple reference for a point about the teaching of ...
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1answer
77 views

How do I hear “shimmer”?

How would you impressionistically guess if a voice has a high degree of "shimmer" (as opposed to a lot of "jitter"). I know these variable have to do with hoarseness or breathiness, but I have ...
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70 views

What languages use grammaticalized spoonerisms?

Here I define a "spoonerism" as the exchange of onset sounds between initially accented words in a phrase: "sh(oving l)eopard" instead of "loving shepherd" "f(ighting a l)iar" instead of "lighting a ...
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33 views

Dictionary of English Dialects

I am working on simulating what changing the English orthography (s.t. it would be (more) transparent) would do to the reading process. A natural question that arises is: If the spelling is tailored ...
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78 views

What features distinguish the true diphthongs of English?

How are the true diphthongs of English distinguished from each other and other vowels with traditional distinctive features theory?
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103 views

What are examples of Haudricourt's tonogenesis in Chinese?

As far as I know, tonogenesis occurs when consonants merge. The merging of initial consonants results in register tones and the merging of final consonants results in contour tones. What are concrete ...
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4answers
190 views

Are there languages with consonant clusters that include consonants that never occur alone?

In the languages I know more about I can't think of any cases of consonant phoneme clusters that are not made up entirely of consonant phonemes which also occur on their own in the language. But I'm ...
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653 views

Can a vowel and a consonant be allophones of the same phoneme?

Are there languages where a vowel and a consonant can be allophones of the same phoneme?
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2answers
108 views

How to work with an IPA chart?

I am trying to learn French vowel sounds using this IPA chart. My question is about this chart. I use it for the first time and I am interested how comprehensive it is. Does a position at this chart ...
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1answer
115 views

The true place of articulation of Korean affricates

About a month ago I began studying Korean and I am now at a stage where I have some familiarity with the writing system and the phonology. A native speaker is available to me, and while she tells me ...
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65 views

What are some alternative communities/forums that are home to engaged linguists? [closed]

I have made accounts on some forums that seem quite lackluster. Quora can be fun, but it's not really enough. Reddit fails in this regard. I would love to find a forum for discussion that I can look ...
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43 views

Symbols for IPA categories

In IPA a consonant can have different places of articulation such as Bilabial, Labio-dental, Dental etc. I want to create a IPA chart that doesn't take much space. For that purposes the words are too ...
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3answers
189 views

When I hear the sound “s” am I hearing [s] or /s/… or?

This is really a terminological issue. The phoneme is only in the mind of the speaker /s/ The phonological segment is that which the speaker articulates [s] What is it that the speaker "hears"? Is ...
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2answers
189 views

Are there languages in which lexical pitch accent and phonemic vowel length vary independently?

According to Glottopedia, lexical pitch accent happens when the only indicator of an accent (aka stress) on the syllable is pitch--elevated pitch on the accented syllable. ...
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92 views

R before TH sound?

Most of time when I say a word with r before θ or ð, my tongue slides on my palate and it goes to down mouth, behind my lower teeth. This movement produce a sound similar with tap or click, sometimes ...
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2answers
68 views

What's an interactive, hands-on creative way to show the role of prosody?

I am have been nominated to teach an accelerated course on phonology to grad students. The course emphasizes lab work and hands-on methods. What's a creative and innovative idea to demonstrate some ...
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1answer
97 views

Can the term “homorganic” be applied to vowels and glides?

As I understand it, "homorganic" means having the same place of articulation, and is said of sounds like [k] vs. [g] and [s] vs. [t]. (I couldn't find a definition from a linguistics source on the ...
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127 views

How can I use C's and V's to describe syllable structures in a way that rules out highly unlikely syllable structures?

How can I use C's and V's to describe syllable structures in a way that rules out highly unlikely syllable structures? For example, I recently looked up the fact that "The structure of the Hawaiian ...
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1answer
88 views

What were allophone rules for [r] in Old English and Middle English?

I gather that [r] (trill) was realized as [ɹ] in different dialects of Old English and Middle English, but when [r] was used, was it an allophone? In other words, did [r] vary predictably with [ɹ] ...
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1answer
169 views

How did one pronounce an 'r' in Old English?

I'm wondering how the rhotic consonant was pronounced by the ancient Anglo-Saxons. Was it pronounced as an alveolar like Modern English or more like the trill Scots use in certain words? Were there ...
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1answer
79 views

Why are f0 candidates stacked vertically in all .pitch files in Praat, like this one?

Why is it that, if I zoom into a .pitch file in Praat, the little numbers (pitch candidates) that are displayed are stacked into vertical lines?
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1answer
97 views

Why is it possible to identify a language without hearing the words?

I have noticed that often while walking in the street in a foreign country, I will be able to recognize that someone nearby is speaking a language I'm familiar with without actually being able to make ...
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1answer
81 views

Uvular harmony?

I'm working on a conlang at the request of a script-writer who wants something very accurate. No problem for me since I spent a lot of time describing minority languages. The point is, the producers ...
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1answer
144 views

How is an intervocalic “g” pronounced in Andean Spanish?

It seems that at least in the Andes, a lot of people say e.g. [awa] for "agua"[agwa]. What's the phonological rule behind this? Is it really [w]? Why did this happen in the first place?
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81 views

Is unvoiced & unaspirated a category of speech?

I know there is 'voiced & unaspirated' and 'aspirated & unvoiced' categories of speech. I have heard there is a 3rd category. What is it?
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116 views

Jedediah → Jebediah: how?

Possibly, the name Jebediah derives from the name Jedediah. If so, then what phonological phenomenon is this an example of, and what are other examples of it?
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1answer
129 views

Is syllable a phonetic or a phonological concept?

Is syllable a phonetic or a phonological concept? Consider 'syllable counting' as a task: would that be regarded as a phonetic task or phonological tasks? Would it depend on whether words are ...
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1answer
79 views

Why is “h” of “-ham” dropped in English place names?

In English, "h" in suffix "-ham" (originated from Old English "home") are skipped when pronouncing so "-ham" sound like "-am". Examples are "Fulham", "Tottenham" etc etc. My question is what causes ...