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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1answer
113 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 ...
4
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1answer
79 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 ...
0
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1answer
44 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 ...
0
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1answer
131 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 ...
4
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0answers
62 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- > ...
1
vote
1answer
76 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 ...
2
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0answers
55 views

How did E. inveigle evolve fom L. 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”). ...
3
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1answer
92 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: ...
4
votes
1answer
223 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 ...
11
votes
2answers
213 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 ...
3
votes
0answers
103 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 ...
2
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2answers
115 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 ...
4
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1answer
92 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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2answers
118 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") ...
5
votes
0answers
278 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. ...
2
votes
1answer
64 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"?
0
votes
1answer
87 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 ...
6
votes
4answers
457 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
99 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, ...
4
votes
2answers
215 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
235 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: ...
4
votes
2answers
190 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
728 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
136 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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vote
0answers
93 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
371 views

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 ...
3
votes
3answers
265 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, ...
7
votes
1answer
179 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
224 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 - ...
5
votes
1answer
146 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 ...
17
votes
2answers
505 views

Do onomatopoeias resist sound change?

Regular sound changes can of course affect phonemes used in onomatopoeias. For example, consider a language containing /mjaw/, referring to the call of a cat. Suppose that final /w/ is sound-changed ...
3
votes
1answer
185 views

What processes of lenition in historical phonology exemplify affrication?

Are there any lenitive processes in historical phonology that show affrication? For example, that of the High German Consonant Shift where a stop becomes an affricate before becoming a fricative. ...
4
votes
1answer
175 views

Across West Germanic Languages, what sound changes have been most common since 1000 CE?

Across West Germanic Languages, what sound changes have been most common since 1000 CE? For example, has there been much epenthesis (vowel insertion) or syncope (dropping middle vowels) or metathesis ...
8
votes
4answers
453 views

What about the sound change initial n -> initial l?

While learning (a little) Cantonese, I was annoyed by the fact that every initial [n] was converted to [l], so that the word "you", written néih hóu in guidebooks is universally pronounced ...
4
votes
1answer
272 views

Vanishing phonemes, nasalization of vowels, tones

Looking at modern French in light of vulgar Latin, or Chinese compared with Proto-Sino-Tibetan (if that can even be reconstructed), there seems to be quite a few contexts in which phonemes are ...
7
votes
1answer
179 views

What is the history of the sound spelled <â> or <î> (IPA /ɨ/) in Romanian?

I've read that some people attribute it to influence from the Slavic languages. But it doesn't just appear in Slavic loans — it also shows up in obviously Latin-derived words like câine 'dog' ...
13
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2answers
1k views

How did Italian manage to stay (mostly) phonetically spelled despite its long written tradition?

Italian is commonly cited as an example of a phonetically spelled language. It is easy to guess how an Italian word is pronounced based on the way it is written, because each written symbol highly ...
15
votes
6answers
421 views

Which phenomena compensate for sound losses in languages?

There is a tendency in all of the world’s languages to drop word sounds, especially unstressed syllables. One example is the word for “winter” in Proto-Algonquian, “peponwi”, which developed into “aa” ...