Systematic changes in pronunciation associated with languages and dialects. Includes segmental and prosodic changes. Sound-change is usually used in a diachronic sense and does not refer to the transient or adaptive changes of an individual.

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Arabic sin and shin sounds in Classical times

What sounds did س and ش‎ make in (early) Classical Arabic? I have heard that maybe they were not [s] and [ʃ]. Is that a widely accepted truth? If that's true, what is the evidence for that?
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63 views

Sound correspondences in Germanic languages

I've noticed that in particular germanic languages have similar base words to english of which many times the only difference is that of the vowels. This would make sense seing as to how they are ...
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232 views

Are sound changes regular?

Are sound changes regular now or not? I mean it seems to me that it's accepted that sound change is pretty regular, because of how sound changes are treated in etymology/historical linguistics. I even ...
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104 views

What sound change(s) underlie [iʒ-] in São Vicente?

Is there a particular sound change that would explain changing a word-initial [ʒu] (or alternatively [dʒu]) to [iʒ] before a stressed syllable? Or might this be best explained as dropping the [u] by ...
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84 views

Historical Linguistics: Merging consonants [closed]

In Middle Egyptian (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Egyptian_language#Phonology), the /s/ and /z/ merged into one sound, but the graphemes continued to be used interchangeably. As one who is interested ...
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206 views

Voicing as lenition

Why is voicing considered lenition under phonological criteria? To me voiced consonants seem stronger in articulation, therefore voicing should be considered fortification.
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91 views

Am I using the right terms in referring to “soft” and “hard” vowels and consonants?

In English, there is a clear difference between the "a" in "at," and the "a" in "father." I described the difference by saying that the "a" in "father" is "harder" than the other one. The German word ...
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127 views

*sn > n (in Latin)

The older consonant cluster sn- loses its s in Latin: nix "snow" vs. English snow cēna "supper" vs. older Latin cesna Two questions: 1) Since word-medial -sn- was clearly lost within the history ...
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78 views

Languages showing affricate-to-plosive fortition (especially diachronically)

It is well known that consonant lenition or weakening tends to be far more common cross-linguistically than the opposite process called fortition or strengthening. Now, some languages have been ...
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99 views

What is the approximate time of the loss of the intervocalic /s/ in Greek?

Teachers of Ancient Greek at my university have always been emphasising the importance of being aware of the loss of the intervocalic sigma in the language's history, because it helped to understand ...
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67 views

Is diphthongising [ʌ] as [ʌɪ] novel or an accent feature?

I have noticed some speakers diphthongising [ʌ] as [ʌɪ]. For example, in Bea Miller’s Young Blood, she pronounces “young blood” as [jʌɪŋ blʌɪd] and “us” as [ʌɪs]. Has this been documented elsewhere? ...
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183 views

How do we get “four” when it doesn't follow Grimm's law?

I understand how Grimm's law has resulted in pairs such as duo / two, tri / three, penta / five. But how do we get "four"? I looked it up in the dictionary and the IE root is ‌‌kwetwer- Why doesn't ...
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3answers
511 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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54 views

Armenian pH < PIE *p(H)?

PIE * p has widely become h in Armenian (e.g. հարց (harts) "question" < * prsk-, հուր (hur) "fire" < * pur-, etc.). However, some have claimed that the verb փլիլ (pHlil) "to fall in, collapse", ...
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345 views

πίστις & ἐλπίζω related linguistically?

This is stemming from a question on BH-SE. Are faith (πίστις) and hope (ἐλπίς) related linguistically? Is it at all possible that ἐλπίς is actually el/eli + πίστις or something + faith? If not, is ...
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2answers
184 views

Examples of discrete place-of-articulation changes

Most sound changes that involve consonantal place of articulation are gradual changes between two POAs that are contiguous: for example, a velar gets gradually fronted until it becomes a palatal. What ...
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118 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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371 views

Why has Paris French mostly lost the distinction between /e/ and /ɛ/?

Why has Paris French mostly lost the distinction between /e/ and /ɛ/? As in, the difference between 'Je le ferai' and 'Je le ferais', 'poignée' and 'poignet', or more simply between the é sound and ...
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1answer
100 views

Can we choose words to avoid change?

The pronunciation and meaning of words change over time, as a result of a variety of forces. These forces are well documented and fairly well understood. Given this knowledge, is it possible to coin ...
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2answers
115 views

Do written languages evolve along the lines of the script?

The medieval sound changes of New Persian are suggestive of tracing back ultimately to the script, so as if to normalize the writting by adjusting the underlying spoken language. Thus the majhul and ...
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1answer
157 views

Use of forks/chopsticks and sound change?

Apparently [European] humans had an ape-like bite until relatively recently, with our top and bottom incisors aligned along their edges. With the invention of the fork around 250 years ago, our ...
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154 views

Sound change charts/lists

I am looking for a summary of sound change laws of various language families. For example for Indo-European, Uralic, N. Caucasian, Semitic but also within Indo-European e.g. Germanic, Greek etc. Is ...
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56 views

Similarities and differences

Why is it that Spanish and Italian are freakishly similar (for the most part) whilst French* and German are in some sense alien tongue when compared to the former two, even though geographically the ...
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319 views

How does PIE *kʷ in **wĺ̥kʷos change to PGmc. *f in *wulfaz?

wĺ̥kʷos The word *wĺ̥kʷos is a thematic accented zero-grade noun perhaps derived from the adjective *wl̥kʷós ‘dangerous’ (compare Hittite walkuwa ‘dangerous’, Old Irish olc ‘evil’, Sanskrit ...
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130 views

Quantitative metathesis in other languages than Ancient Greek?

The Attic-Ionic dialects of Ancient Greek underwent a sound change whereby, in a sequence of a long vowel followed by a short vowel, the quantities were switched: -V:V- became -VV:-, e.g. -e:o- > ...
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101 views

How did OF. peindre derive from L. pingere, with a “-ng-” > “-nd-” change?

peindre From Latin pingere, present active infinitive of pingō (“I paint”). I am curious about the sound change within the early Romance languages, while this one above maybe not a sound change ...
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1answer
153 views

How did the English word inveigle evolve from the Latin aboculus?

inveigle Early corruption of French aveugler (“to blind, to delude”), from aveugle (“blind”), from the Old French avugle (“without eyes”), from Latin ab + oculus (“eye”). ...
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166 views

How does PGmc.fl- change to Goth. thl-, such as PGmc *fleuhaną to Goth. þliuhan?

The example is a cognate of flee: fleuhaną Descendants[edit] Old English: flēon English: flee Old Frisian: fliā Old Saxon: fliohan Old Dutch: *flion Middle Dutch: vlien Dutch: ...
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2answers
546 views

What is the relative chronology of Grimm's and Verner's Law?

I'm trying to understand the relative chronology of Grimm's Law and Verner's Law. I understand that there are different views, and that it is not easy to work out. I believe Ringe argues that the ...
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363 views

Dental fricatives for Brazilian Portuguese speakers

Whenever I observe my fellow Brazilian countrymen learning to speak English, a clear sound change pattern stands out: [θ] → [f] [ð] → [d], syllable-initial [f], syllable-final So, for ...
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170 views

How does PIE *d- in *dlegh- change to PGmc. p- in plegō (E pledge)?

As shown in the Wiktionary: pledge From Middle English plege, from Anglo-Norman plege, from Old French plege (Modern French pleige) from Medieval Latin plevium, plebium, from Medieval Latin ...
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137 views

How does PIE *s- in *sriges- change to L. f- in frigus?

As shown in the Wiktionary: frigus From Proto-Indo-European *sriges-, *sriHges-. But I can't find the clue to this sound change on Wikipedia, which concludes that PIE*bʰ, *dʰ, *gʷʰ will become ...
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129 views

Why does “-b-” differ between L “offero” and L “aufero”?

offero From ob ("towards") + ferō ("bear, carry") aufero From ab ("from") + ferō ("bear, carry") Both prefixes of them end with "-b-", but why do their compounds differ from each other, ...
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255 views

How does Gk. “hieros” differ from its cognate Gk. “oistros” with an “h”?

oestrus From the Latin oestrus ("gadfly”, “sting”, “frenzy"), from the Ancient Greek οἶστρος (oistros). hiero- From Ancient Greek prefix ἱερo- (hiero-), from ἱερός (hieros, "sacred, holy") ...
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799 views

Is there a diagram showing the history of sound changes from Latin to the Romance languages?

We have had a number of questions about sound changes, asking for the history of specific changes. See this one, for example: asking about the change from Latin benedictionem to French beneiçon. ...
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1answer
80 views

How did It “sedano” come from Gk “σέλινον”, with a “l”>“d” shift?

sedano From Ancient Greek σέλινον. The only Italian etymology I can find is on Wiktionary. And why does the Italian noun "sedano" look the same with the Italian verb "sedano"?
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144 views

How did L “reddere” change to E “render”?

render From Old French rendre ("to render, to make"), from Vulgar Latin *rendere, from Latin reddere, present active infinitive of reddō ("return in profit"). I just wonder whether it is a kind ...
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856 views

Grimm's law: what motivates stop -> fricative sound change?

I am trying to understand the sound change that brought PIE *dent- to P.Gmc. *tanth-. Grimm's law seems to be the culprit for the consonant changes: Initial voiced stop /d/ devoiced to /t/ Terminal ...
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2answers
184 views

How does “-age” come from L “-aticum”, with a change from “t” to “g”?

-age (wiktionary) From Old French -age, from Latin -aticum. Cognates include Spanish -aje and Italian -aggio. -age (etymonline) word-forming element in nouns of act, process, function, ...
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507 views

How does the word “thunder” get the letter “d”?

thunder O.E. þunor, from P.Gmc. thunraz (cf. O.N. þorr, O.Fris. thuner, M.Du. donre, Du. donder, O.H.G. donar, Ger. Donner "thunder"), from PIE (s)tene- "to resound, thunder" (cf. Skt. tanayitnuh ...
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450 views

Why does the Old Norse word “maðr” include “ð”, while its cognate E “man” doesn't?

maðr From Proto-Germanic *mann-, whence also Old English mann, Old High German man. mann- Descendants Old English: mann, man; manna English: man Old Frisian: man, mon West Frisian: ...
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323 views

How does the Icelandic word “finna” come from Proto-Germanic “finþanan”?

finna From Old Norse finna, from Proto-Germanic *finþanan. finþanan From Proto-Indo-European *pent-, *penth- (“to go, pass; path, bridge”). Cognate with Latin pons (“bridge”), Old Indian ...
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3answers
4k views

Why don't the French pronounce consonants at the ends of words?

I am curious what could have caused the shift in pronunciation. I presume it must have occurred after the spelling of words was standardized. According to the History of French wikipedia article, this ...
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275 views

How does the sound change from L. “benedictionem” to O.Fr. “beneiçon” happen?

benison c.1300, "blessing, beatitude," from O.Fr. beneiçon "blessing, benediction," from L. benedictionem (see benediction). Similarly, the word malison comes in the exact way described above. ...
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130 views

Is PIE “*wank-” the ultimate root of E “wankle”?

wankle From Middle English wankel, from Old English wancol (“unstable, unsteady, tottering, vacillating, weak”), from Proto-Germanic *wankulaz (“unsteady, wavering”), from Proto-Indo-European ...
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How does the initial consonant in “Jupiter” and “Zeus” come from the “d” in PIE “*dyew-”?

Jupiter, is from Proto-Indo-European *dyew- (“sky”) (whence also Latin diēs). Cognate with Ancient Greek Ζεύς (Zeus), Hittite 𒅆𒍑 (sius), Sanskrit द्यु (dyú). The nominative Iuppiter comes ...
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337 views

Why does “g” in Middle English “boga” become “w” in Modern English “bow”?

With the help of Wiktionary, we know two useful Midlle English etymologies of the word "bow". bow-1 From Old English boga, from Proto-Germanic *bugô. Cognate with Dutch boog, German Bogen, ...
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243 views

What is the sound law to describe the etymology of “helix” and “vulva”?

What confused me is the transition from "w" in PIE *wel- to "h" in E. helix . And what's the sound law applied to the word E. "vulva",which has the change from "w" to "v"? helix "a spiral ...
6
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334 views

Is there a known rule of correspondence between Latin and Greek *p and *kʷ - in other languages?

It seems to me that some words that have -p- in stem in Latin have clearly reconstructible -ku̯- based on other Indo-European languages. Some examples include *u̯lpes - *u̯lku̯os ("wolf") *u̯esper - ...
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201 views

How do linguists determine at which point the Great Vowel Shift was complete?

The chart below shows a chain of sound changes that happened to the English language, from 1400 onwards. Although the chart was intended to describe the Great Vowel Shift, it is not accurate*, since ...