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.


p > pf > f


Other examples abound, although I don't want to just give a long list.

One salient example is the affrication which accompanied palatalization in Romance. In various environments in various languages this took the various forms:

k,t → tʃ,ts → ʃ,s,θ
g,d → dʒ,dz → ʒ,j,x

e.g. L cena kenaPt ceia /sejɐ/, Es cena /θena/, It cena /tʃena/, Ro cină /ʧinə/, Ar tsinã /tsinə/

Affrication very often accompanies palatalization, for example in Japanese t,d → tɕ,dʑ/ts,dz before i/ɯ; or English t in question, nature. I understand similar processes have occured in Finnic.

However, it is notable that the diachronic stop->fricative lenition does not always have an affrication stage, and can go right from stop to fricative. An example of this is the first Germanic consonant shift, Grimm's law:

bʰ → b → p → f
dʰ → d → t → þ
gʰ → g → k → h
gʷʰ → gʷ → kʷ → hʷ

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    Nice summary. In Australian English we have a process of palatalisation of stops before the high back vowel /ʊ/, which often results in affricates such as 'dune' /ʤʊn/ (homophonous with 'June'). This is a change in progress, but one day it will be part of the historical phonology of Australian English! – Gaston Ümlaut Apr 19 '12 at 2:57
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    Is it interesting that in Sardinian we say /kena/? :) At least, in my area (there are some zones). I think the main reason why we kept it, is because of "isolation", considering Bartoli's norms. – Alenanno Apr 19 '12 at 9:17
  • Brilliant summary. @Alenanno very interesting what you say about Sardinian. I was also looking at other cases of lenition and Logudorese popped up - with the lenitive processes that give alterations like l. [ˈfɾad̞ɛ]~[suˈvɾad̞ɛ] and [ˈsaldu]~[suˈzaldu] – Danger Fourpence Apr 19 '12 at 10:01
  • @DangerFourpence Ahah nice! While I know the first one (brother/the brother), I fail to recognize the second word... Logudorese shares a lot with mine, but here and there there are different words. – Alenanno Apr 19 '12 at 10:22
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    @DangerFourpence I see! We use the R instead of L. :) – Alenanno Apr 21 '12 at 9:22

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